Rocky's prepares for 85th anniversary celebration

Rocky's original store in Springfield, Mass.

Springfield, Mass.-based Rocky’s Ace Hardware, a 33-store New England chain, is marking its 85th anniversary with a celebration culminating Oct. 19 to 24 with special events, including 85-cent sales and $85 gift-card giveaways.

Rocky’s was founded in 1926, by Rocco (Rocky) Falcone Sr., located at the corner of Main and Union Streets in downtown Springfield, Mass., and tradition of service remains in effect today at all Rocky’s stores from Florida to New Hampshire.

In 1966, Falcone Sr. was succeeded by his son, James. During the 1970s and 1980s, the younger Falcone developed the single-store operation into a successful regional seven-store chain. His innovative merchandising strategy of adding home decorating and household departments featuring custom color paint and everyday needed products attracted new customers to the traditional hardware store.

James Falcone also led his family-based business into a national affiliation with Ace Hardware, offering Rocky’s the buying power of a national co-op, while still maintaining its neighborhood community identity.

Today James Falcone holds the position of chairman, with Rocco Falcone II, the third generation of the founding family, taking care of the business, serving as president and CEO. Under Rocco Falcone II’s leadership, the chain has grown to a regional powerhouse with 33 stores concentrated in the Northeast and Florida.

“We have not only expanded our reach but also our merchandise offerings,” Rocco Falcone II said. “Now our customers can choose from a wide assortment of quality paint, lawn and garden care items, and professional power tools, along with a newly expanded pet care department and still receive the quality service they have been accustomed to.”

Another key member of the Falcone family who has worked beside her father at the original location and serves today as VP Rocco Falcone’s daughter, Claire. Throughout Claire Falcone’s dedicated tenure, the importance of offering the customer excellent service and a quality selection of goods has always been a prime belief.

“The recent additions of trusted brand names like Craftsman, Benjamin Moore and Nutro pet food compliments our full line of traditional hardware items,” Claire Falcone said. “Our garden centers offer customers a healthy selection of seasonal plants and flowers along with fertilizer, mulch and everything else a homeowner or contractor could need for their lawn and garden projects."

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