OAK BROOK, IL -- Ace Hardware Corporation, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry, is proud to celebrate the organization's 90th anniversary. Founded in Chicago in 1924 by five independent hardware store owners, Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, Oscar Fischer and William Stauber, these entrepreneurs made the bold decision to unite their hardware businesses to increase their collective buying power in the industry.
Today Ace Hardware has more than 4,850 helpful hardware stores across the globe with approximately 100,000 retail associates, all dedicated to the same "old school" belief that their neighbors will always value service, convenience and quality. Powered by a world-class supply chain and a global merchandising network, Ace retailers continue to be not just the local owners of their retail stores but the only shareholders of Ace Hardware Corporation.
Historical Timeline - The Early Years
1924: Uniting their Chicago area hardware stores to increase buying power, Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, Oscar Fisher and William Stauber forge the beginning of Ace.
1928: On March 2, Ace Stores, Inc. is officially incorporated, ensuring for the Ace founders the right to purchase, sell and even manufacture hardware.
1929: Ace opens its first warehouse, a 5,000-square-foot building in Chicago and benefits from the public's unwavering need for tools and hardware, even in the most unsettling economic times.
1931: Ace Stores, Inc., officially changes its name to Ace Hardware Corporation.
Find more historical milestones on Ace's interactive company timeline.
"It's a privilege to lead this great company; a company that has grown quite large but to this day is still comprised primarily of local, family businesses around the globe," said John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. "I believe our five founders would be exceedingly proud to see the small business success and servant hearts of Ace beating strong after all these years."
Despite being a nearly century-old company, Ace is not content to sit idle with the status quo, in fact the health of Ace as an organization has never been stronger. Reported in February 2014, Ace's 2013 total revenue grew 8.2% to $4.2 billion and its net income grew 28% to $104.5 million; both being records for the company.
"Ace is in the fortuitous position of having a clear strategy, unified purpose and shared values across the entire enterprise, all built upon the bedrock of our founders and their values." Venhuizen said. "And while there are always plenty of things for which we will be productively paranoid, I'm quite convinced that our local Ace retailers have their brightest days ahead of them."
About Ace Hardware
For 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2013, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Seven Years in a Row" according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,850 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Shanghai, China; Panama City, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.