HARDWARE STORES

Ellis Hardware reaches milestone

BY Ken Clark

This summer, a hardware store in Seneca, Ill., is celebrating its 140th anniversary. Ellis Ace Hardware opened in 1872, and 14 decades later, it’s still operated by the Ellis family. The location? Main Street, of course.

Behind the cash register these days is David and John Ellis, the fourth generation. David and John expanded the size of the store in the 1970s, quadrupling the size. David’s son, Michael Ellis, has also joined the operation, making it a fifth-generation business.

The store isn’t modest about its age — vintage photos decorate its Facebook page and its store. But this is not the kind of hardware store where some inventory turns about once every five years. Ellis Ace Hardware will refill your printer cartridges, and its Radio Shack franchise sells the latest iPhone.

They’re also famous for their caramel apples (with or without nuts), which usually come in around Aug. 31.

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Central California dealer opens second unit

BY Brae Canlen

Davis Ace Hardware, a fixture in the college town of Davis, Calif. for 90 years, will open a second Davis location in a small shopping center called Anderson Plaza. An article in The Davis Enterprise reported that the 3,500-sq.-ft. neighborhood store, called Aggie Ace, will use the co-op’s “Express Store” format to carry core hardware products. A soft opening is expected in mid-August. 

Meanwhile, the original downtown Davis Ace Hardware, now being operated by the third generation of the Anderson family, is remodeling its pet department, which carries fish, reptile and bird supplies as part of its assortment.

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Blaine Ace Hardware opens in Washington

BY Brae Canlen

A new Ace store has opened in Bellingham, Wash., in partnership with a farmer’s co-op, according to an article in the Bellingham Herald

Blaine Ace Hardware opened on July 16 in the International Shopping Center on the site of an Ace Hardware dealer that went out of business last summer. The new 12,200-sq.-ft. store will dedicate 25% of its space to the Whatcom Farmer’s Co-op, which sells feed and farm products, according to the article.

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