5 ways Ace will challenge the future

Strategies for taking hardware into the future at the Ace Fall Convention in Chicago.
Ace John Surane
John Surane, chief merchandising and sales officer for Ace Hardware, delivers the keynote at the Ace 2022 Fall Convention in Chicago.

“There are challenges in the world. Be laser focused.”

John Surane, chief merchandising and sales officer for Ace Hardware, stepped on stage before a packed house in Chicago and delivered to Ace’s dealers that message.

Every seat was full in the large Arie Crown theater at the McCormick Place convention center as Ace dealers from across the U.S. heard him list the challenges and goals for this year and beyond.

Surane and Kim Lefko, chief marketing officer for Ace, delivered the key messages.

Ace Kim Left
Kim Lefko, chief marketing officer for Ace speaks to Ace dealers.

Top among those ways Ace will challenge the future were these five takeaways:

  1. Increase B2B strategy. Selling to businesses is up 10% at Ace, store sales is up 1%. Take note. Surane said, “stores that do 20% or more in B2B do $46 per foot more in sales.”
  2. Be opportunistic. Achieving sales growth will be difficult the rest of 2022, he said. There are challenges such as inflation, supply chain, labor market and competitors. “We can’t change that,” he said. Instead, focus on being strategically consistent; operationally aggressive and fiscally conservative. “We’re in a brutal street fight right now,” he said.
  3. Local Lift search engine. Lefko said, “get your Ace store on Local Lift to drive customers. Market every month there. Revenue On Ad Spend, or ROAS, target should be $7-9.” In other words, she said, if you invest say $1,000, with ROAS at @ $8, your goal is $8,000 in sales.
  4. Ace Rewards. Make sure to opt in. “60% of sales revenue is generated by Ace Rewards,” said Lefko. The idea that Rewards is coupon heavy is a myth, she added. “Loyal customers use Ace Rewards more, buy more.”
  5. Product Sync. More enhancements are coming to the Ace website, she said. “It’s a $2.5 billion channel in the next couple years. And there will be locally sourced products too.”

Lefko delivered a strong message to kick off the Ace Fall Convention: “Take a posture of courage. We exist to help each other.”

Surane added this theme: “The most potent thing we have is you.”

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