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2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#12 Ranked #23 last year
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Initial investment
$292K - $2.1M
Units as of 2021
5,554 7.2% over 3 years

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Ace Hardware franchise.

Ace Hardware aims to be one of the best, most helpful hardware stores in town. With local communities in mind, the company typically gives franchisees the power to customize their Ace Hardware location. Ace Hardware seeks to live up to its jingle and truly be "the place with the helpful hardware folks."

The company began in 1924 and started franchising over five decades later, in 1976. It now has a large base in the United States, where it boasts over 4,400 franchised locations. It is also present in bulk internationally, where it has over 800 franchises.

Why You May Want to Start an Ace Hardware Franchise

Ace Hardware stresses teamwork and corporate assistance. The field staff team will likely train franchisees in how to open their store, develop and execute their growth plan, and sustain their momentum. They may also consult with franchisees on how to take advantage of local opportunities.

Ace Hardware is a team-focused company and wants to see its franchises grow. Franchisees will typically have access to a large team of experts who will usually guide franchisees as they navigate the business.

An Ace Hardware franchise is, for the most part, individually owned. Because the stores are locally-owned and operated, customers tend to be friends, neighbors, and community members. This means that the owner has the potential to hone in on a customer's needs and create meaningful customer-owner relationships.

Ace Hardware has been a consistent high-ranker in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, Fastest-Growing Franchises, and Top Global Franchises for many years. These rankings are based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

What Might Make an Ace Hardware Franchise a Good Choice

An Ace Hardware franchise may be a good choice for those looking to open a community-based business. Franchisees can possibly customize what they sell based on local market demand. For example, if you live in New Mexico, you may not have to keep snow shovels in stock. But if you live in Minnesota or Michigan, you can provide heavy-duty snow shovels and other snow-ready commodities. 

Customization could also mean that a franchisee can expand a specific department to include household appliances. All this depends on your area's needs. The Ace Hardware team will typically offer owners advice on what to carry in their stores, so there are no missed opportunities. 

Ace Hardware offers its Ace Rewards program and free store pickup to customers, as well. This may drive customer conversion. 

How to Open an Ace Hardware Franchise

Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, it is crucial that you perform your due diligence. Speak to existing franchisees and ask questions directed to the Ace Hardware team. Make sure you take time to explore the opportunity. Research the brand and your local area to see if an Ace Hardware franchise would do well in your community. While competition is healthy, too much of it may not allow for the most possible growth.

If all goes well, an Ace Hardware representative will contact you and discuss how to open a store. If you qualify, the representative will guide you through what you need to do to open. 

Soon, you may be opening the doors to your Ace Hardware store and offering hardware to those in your community.

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Company Overview

About Ace Hardware

Industry
Retail
Founded
1924
Leadership
John Venhuizen, CEO

Franchising Overview

Franchising Since
1976 (46 years)
# of employees at HQ
1,288
Where seeking

This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.

This company is seeking new franchisees worldwide.

# of Units
5,554 (as of 2021)

Franchisor Information

Corporate Address
2222 Kensington Ct.
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Ace Hardware franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee
$5,000
Initial Investment
$292,000 - $2,119,230
Net Worth Requirement
$400,000
Cash Requirement
$250,000
Veteran Incentives
Franchise fee (affiliation fee) waived
Term of Agreement
None
Is franchise term renewable?
No
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing
Ace Hardware has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

Classroom Training
40 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Newsletter
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
SEO
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App

Operations

Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Yes
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
No
Can this franchise be run part time?
No
# of employees required to run
15-25
Are exclusive territories available?
Yes
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Ace Hardware landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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Disclaimer
The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise by Entrepreneur Media. Our franchise listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise. That should include reviewing the franchisor's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees.
Updated: February 8th, 2021