How Ace Hardware Turned Corner Stores Into a $4.7 Billion Co-Op

How Ace Hardware Turned Corner Stores Into a $4.7 Billion Co-Op

SRS is proud to work with Ace Hardware over the years. Their record earnings, sales and overall success has been highlighted in the current edition of Forbes Magazine:

Ace-Forbes

How Ace Hardware Turned Corner Stores Into a $4.7 Billion Co-Op

When Jeremy Melnick’s grandfather opened his first Ace Hardware store along Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast in 1950, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. Wal-Mart? An Arkansas five-and-dime. Lowe’s was two stores in North Carolina. Home Depot HD -0.24% was still 29 years away from opening its first location. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was 14 years shy of being born.

The Melnicks — Jeremy, 43, and dad Les, 67 — own six of the 4,794 Ace Hardware stores that make up the country’s largest retail cooperative outside the grocery sector.

As they’ve expanded their family business-within-a-business into a local chain, some 20 Home Depots have cropped up along greater Chicago’s highways and strip malls in the past two decades, each 100,000 square feet (versus the Melnicks’ 8,000-square-foot corner stores). “They surround us,” Jeremy says.

Not that he’s complaining. Despite the competition, his business is good. Surprisingly good. And so is Ace Hardware’s bottom line. The Oak Brook, Ill. co-op expects a year-on-year revenue increase of 13% to about $4.7 billion and a profit boost of 35% when it releases its 2014 annual report in April, following eight consecutive quarters of record sales.

Read the full article at Forbes.com »

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