Ideas from the Ace show floor

The co-op's Atlanta convention set the stage for retail experimentation.

Atlanta — Ace Hardware Corp. has set its sights on expanded sales per square foot across the retail network — from $204 in 2016, to $210 in 2017.

Achieving that goal will require some merchandise experimentation, according to Ace.

"If you think you're going to increase sales by selling the exact same stuff you sold last year, you're probably going to fail," CEO John Venhuizen said.

He was speaking during the general session of the 2017 Ace Hardware Spring Convention and Exhibits, which rolled into Atlanta for three days of buying, networking and setting a course for growth.

About 1,200 exhibitors participated in the March 16-18 event, bringing ideas with a diverse range from trim-a-tree to barbecue sauce.

Above are some highlights captured by guests from HBSDealer.

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