Ace Hardware, the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative, is pleased to announce a new financing program for Ace Hardware store owners that will help fuel the company’s new store growth efforts. The new financing program gives qualified Ace store owners access to up to $200,000 in a dollar-for-dollar equity match loan for opening a new ground up store or to acquire a competitor’s store. Amounts borrowed under this program do not need to be repaid in cash. Instead, loans can be repaid immediately using the owner’s existing Ace Hardware Corporation stock or over time using future non-cash patronage distributions.
“With this exciting announcement, Ace Hardware store owners now have even more resources to help them achieve their goals of expanding their businesses,” said Dan Miller, Vice President, Retail Operations and New Business, Ace Hardware Corporation. “In the last three years, new ground up stores at Ace have reported a nearly 99% success rate, and the average store is yielding sales per square foot of $138/ft. in their first year – it’s an exciting time to be growing with Ace.”
As a privately held, retailer-owned cooperative, Ace Hardware store owners are the exclusive shareholders of the company. A percentage of all wholesale goods purchased by an Ace store through the Ace Hardware supply chain is returned to the owner annually in the form of a patronage dividend – a combination of cash and Ace Hardware Corporation stock. Over time, Ace owners acquire a significant amount of Ace stock and with this financing program they can use that stock to repay their loan. Ace stores who qualify for and choose to participate in the program will be able to grow more aggressively because they can tap into the equity of their existing stock.
The new financing program is available to qualified, existing Ace owners with two or more stores, and all Pinnacle-achieving Ace retailers, both single-store and multi-store owners. Pinnacle is the highest level of store performance that an Ace Hardware store can achieve; to earn Pinnacle Performance retailing status, an Ace store must successfully complete a number of key performance drivers that will help them provide a better overall shopping experience in their local community.