Ace Hardware Corp. announced plans to open new Ace Hardware stores in 11 former Orchard Supply Hardware locations in California.
“Ace is delighted to fulfill a need by bringing back the local, neighborhood hardware store in 11 California communities,” says John Venhuizen, president and CEO of Ace Hardware Corp. “Ace intends to honor the tremendous legacy Orchard Supply Hardware established in these communities while infusing them with Ace’s unique culture and helpful service for which Ace has become famous.”
Nine of the stores will be owned and operated by Westlake Ace Hardware, a subsidiary of Ace Hardware Corp. Two of the stores will be owned and operated by independent retailers Paul Filice of Miner’s Ace Hardware in Goleta, California, and Chris Swanson of Strand Ace Hardware in Modesto, California.
All of the stores will have Ace and local branding; none of them will include Westlake or Orchard Supply in their names, according to Ace Hardware.
Ace Hardware anticipates opening most of the new locations in summer 2019 with the average size store being around 30,000 square feet. Ace intends to create more than 600 new jobs collectively in these communities, including hiring many former Orchard Supply employees.
“The entire Ace Hardware team and I are very excited about our upcoming expansion into California. Our growth in the Golden State is the latest example of the vibrant and positive evolution the Ace brand has gone through during the past several years,” says Joe Jeffries, president and CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware.
Lowe’s owned and operated the 99-store Orchard Supply Chain from 2013 to 2018. In 2018, the big-box retailer closed all of the stores to “in order to focus on its core home improvement business,” according to Lowe’s.
Ace is not the only company in the independent home improvement sector opening stores in Orchard Supply locations. In May, Central Network Retail Group (CNRG), a multiformat, multibrand retailer currently operating 104 home improvement stores in the U.S., announced plans to open seven stores in former Orchard Supply stores.