Like many hardware stores that come to embrace change, Delbert Brown’s Ace Hardware in Stanton, Ky., needed room to grow. Its 8,000-sq.-ft. layout simply wasn’t cutting it, especially when it had an extra 2,100 sq. ft. of adjoining property essentially serving as wasted storage space.
“It was no use at all,” said owner Delbert Brown.
Before: Given that he already owned the space, the decision to expand was a virtual no-brainer.
Construction started in November 2012 and ended in January, with extensive updates that involved taking down the walls, redoing the lighting and the floors, and changing the entrance to make it more central to the overall layout. A new relationship with Ace brought in a larger paint format, Craftsman tool line and other expansions.
“We ended up resetting the entire store,” said Brown, who cited a 20% larger paint and tools department, a 15% larger plumbing aisle and a 10% increase in his electrical products selection, he said.
After: The saying applies: “The world fills whatever size cup you arrive with.” A larger store meant larger profits, with an overall increase of 15% in year-over-year sales.
“This has been one of the most positive moves [I’ve ever made],” said Brown. “People are overwhelmed by the new product lines — they can get everything they need here. They don’t need to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s.”