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In: Business and Management

Submitted By TerryLesane
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What began as a small chain of stores established by a group of Chicago-area retailers in 1924 has evolved into the nation’s leading retailer-owned cooperatives.

Throughout the years, many things have changed. From a few Chicago-area hardware stores, Ace has grown to include 4,600 stores in 50 states and 60 countries. Yet one thing has remained unchanged — Ace's commitment to deliver quality, friendly and helpful hardware service to consumers.

Take a trip through the past decades for a look at the milestones and achievements Ace has enjoyed through the years.

1920-1940: The birth of an American cooperative

Timeline 1924: Uniting their Chicago-area hardware stores to increase buying power and profits, entrepreneurs Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke and Oscar Fisher forge the beginning of Ace Hardware.

1928: By year-end, 11 retailers join the fledgling company, now officially named Ace Stores, Inc.

1929: Ace opens its first warehouse, a 25,000-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. Ace’s growing retailer base and buying power helps the company compete with mail order houses and chain stores.

1933: The Sherman Hotel in Chicago is home to the first formal retailer convention, and Ace’s 38 dealers from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin attend.

1939: With Ace Hardware rapidly growing in the Midwest, its retailers turn their energies toward improving their merchandising and developing innovative displays and promotions for their customers.


As Ace Hardware celebrates its 80th anniversary, it's the perfect time to look back at the company's unique past, full of risk, ingenuity and belief in the American Dream. Today, we reflect...

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