Ace Hardware International Holdings has teamed up with Safi and Safi Enterprises to bring Ace stores to Afghanistan.
As a part of the development plan, Safi and Safi will open a minimum of 15 Ace Hardware stores in the next 10 years.
Ace Hardware in Afghanistan will more closely resemble a “big-box” store as opposed to Ace Hardware’s traditional convenience format. Building materials, electrical panels and scaffolding, as well as hand tools and household items will be found in the store, including many international name brands. Additionally, up to 40% of the products sold will be locally procured in an effort to support Afghan industry and offer competitively priced local products and materials, according to the release announcing the deal.
The license agreement was signed in December at the Ace Hardware International Middle East North Africa (MENA) regional headquarters at Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ).
“At Ace Hardware International, we consistently provide our international retail licensees with ideal retail success elements, starting with a globally recognized brand, operational flexibility, market exclusivity and a global distribution network. I am excited to welcome Safi and Safi into our Ace family,” said Alberto Vidal, Ace Hardware International business development director.
After receiving corporate training in the United States, country manager Abdul Safi and managing owner Najib Safi are preparing to open their first store in Mazar-e Sharif. The Safis have opened offices, a warehouse facility and plan to open a second store in Kabul later this year.
The team at the Ace MENA regional headquarters provides Safi and Safi, along with other Ace retailers in the region, the ability to purchase product categories specifically tailored to international retailers from nearby suppliers, and distribute these items without the hassle of shipping through U.S. territories. This service dramatically shortens lead times, provides overall easier access to inventory and lowers the cost of goods.