Q&A: Does Ace Hardware Franchise in the UK?

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ace hardware franchise

With more than 5,200 stores in over 66 countries and in all 50 states, Ace Hardware has been ranked as one of the 100 most recognised brands in the world. The home improvement business can be found across the world in places such as Indonesia, Nicaragua, Anchorage, Alaska, Miami and Florida. Ace Hardware provides all the essentials to carry out interior and exterior improvement work, including paint, lawn and garden furniture and equipment, tools and local services.

This business puts community at the heart of everything it does, working to ensure that a visit to an Ace Hardware store feels like a personalised experience like a visit to your neighbour. In keeping with the values instilled by the five independent hardware store owners who founded the chain in 1924, Ace Hardware champions excellence, love, integrity, gratitude, humility and teamwork. In short, this means supporting its network of loyal small business owners to provide the best possible customer experience.

Does Ace Hardware franchise in the UK?

Ace Hardware is the largest home improvement franchise in the world. Most of its stores are run by local entrepreneurs, who can bulk-buy stock to minimise expenditure, allowing them to compete with much larger stores in the sector. This helps individual businesses keep afloat something which can be particularly tricky in the first few years of operation. But what about in the UK?

  • Unfortunately, Ace Hardware doesnt currently operate in the UK, and the majority of available markets are currently in the US. However, if youre set on opening a home improvement franchise and only this global leader will do, you can see a full list of available markets in the US here.
  • Or, you can check out Ace Hardwares international page and find out more about how to become an international retailer. When it comes to its presence outside of the US, it focuses on partnering with investors who plan to sign multi-unit agreements. There is no specific mention of whether this extends to the UK. However, its worth completing the prequalification stage. After this, the process follows this structure:


1. Prequalification
2. Discovery
3. Validation (business plan)
4. Store planning
5. Opening order
6. Store set-up
7. Store opening
8. First year of operation

To start off the prequalification stage, you can email the confidential query form to moore@acehardware.com.

How successful is Ace Hardware in the US?

Lots of ambitious entrepreneurs are drawn to Ace Hardware because of its impressive statistics, including:

  • $5.7 billion total revenue
  • $142 million patronage dividend
  • $128.2 million net income
  • 5,200 worldwide locations
  • 1.57 million square feet of new retail space
  • 97 percent brand awareness among consumers

Also, according to an Ace Brand Tracking Study, 79 percent of shoppers think that the stores are convenient located, 78 percent think they have helpful staff and 77 percent think they are knowledgeable.

Focusing on its franchising accolades, it was ranked as number one in its category in Entrepreneur Magazines Franchise 500 list 2019. It also came 17th on Franchise Directs Top 100 Global Franchises and 5th on Franchise Times Top 200+ list.

Ace Hardware - a prime example of marketing done right

Franchisees can make the most of huge national advertising campaigns, and the brand has increased its funding on this year on year. In 2016, it spent $65 million, this year it spent $94 million and in 2020 it plans on spending $101.5 million. 61 percent of this goes towards TV and video advertisements, 32 percent on online ones, and the remaining on radio promotions.

What was is result of this? Well, Ace Rewards members surpassed 48 million, wholesale revenue increased by 4.7 percent to reach $5.7 million, 2,229 stores became helpful certified and the business-to-business sales growth was 5.2 percent.

What does the Ace Hardware franchise opportunity look like?

  • Ace Hardware is a popular choice for investors who are searching for operational flexibility and market localisation, as its business model has been developed over the years to maximise job satisfaction and profitability for franchisees. The brand is confident that those who choose to invest in the business will find the support they need from its dedicated help team.
  • Thanks to Ace Hardwares carefully created franchise model, franchisees have access to more than 100,000 products and pay no royalty fees. International retailers can also select the specific range of products they would like to sell in Ace Hardwares semi-annual conventions, where over 1,000 different suppliers showcase their products.
  • Franchisees also benefit from region-specific product assortments with international distribution capabilities, an exhaustive training scheme, worldwide support and, of course, all the perks that come with an established and successful brand, such as an existing customer base and brand awareness.

What does it take to start an Ace Hardware franchise?

1. Have access to the investment cost

  • While there is plenty of information on the Ace Hardware website about the franchise model, the exact cost of opening a franchise is unknown. However, the business does charge a $5,000 application fee for investors initiating the franchising process, which is waived for qualified US veterans.
  • It is, however, suggested that if youre looking to construct a new location from the ground up, the top figure is $1.5 million. Whereas, if you intend to lease a premises, you can expect to pay around $250,000.

2. Fit what the brand is looking for

  • As Ace Hardware stores are mainly individually owned and operated, customers are essentially their neighbours and fellow citizens in the local area. Therefore, franchisees need to have a friendly persona and create a personalised experience. And remember, when you become a franchisee, you join the Ace family - a family with over 80,000 members.
  • Candidates should also be natural, born leaders, have excellent decision-making skills and have a good sense of humour.

Starting a home improvement franchise in the UK

There are plenty more home improvement franchises on the market just waiting for savvy investors to help expand their brand. If youre looking for UK-based franchises, Award Leisure could be the ideal franchise for you.

Why is the home improvement industry worth entering?

  • In the last five years, homeowners have spent a total of £295 billion on improving their kitchens, gardens etc. in the UK. Therefore, it doesnt come as too much of a surprise that the market it worth around £26 billion.
  • Its been estimated that renovation adds up to £40,000 to the value of a property. Therefore, homeowners are turning to home improvement franchises to vamp up their properties.

Award Leisure

This business was founded in 1984 and sells outdoor leisure products. These include hot tubs, swim spas, saunas, cabins, wood-fired pizza ovens, gazebos and awnings, as well as items to maintain and care for these items, such as cleaning products and accessories.

With five outlets in operation across the UK offering over 1,000 different products and serving more than 3,000 customers, Award Leisure is looking to expand its reach. A total investment of between £50,000 and £83,000 will enable franchisees to access an initial order of stock, office equipment, vehicle signage tools, customer management systems and a portfolio of best-selling products.

Ace Hardware franchise: we can learn a lot from the global leader

Ace Hardware is clearly an impressive franchise that has seen remarkable global success. While there arent currently any locations in the UK, by enquiring on its international website you could be in with a chance of opening the very first one. To see more home improvement businesses that are looking to expand through franchising, click here.

>> Read more articles on the Retail sector

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