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Dealers mixed colors at the Paint Experience Zone on the show floor.
Ace Chairman Jim Ackroyd delivered a growth story during the general session.
Craftsman reps explained the brand will continue as an Ace exclusive in the convenience hardware channel.
A display recognized stores participating in Ace Rewards.
Holiday lights are one of Ace's "Famous For 4" categories of emphasis.
The Grommet is expected to provide Ace stores with new and noteworthy products.
E-commerce was up at Ace Hardware.
At the Old Masters booth, the story was the many uses of stain.
The Casusgrill, a one-time-use biodegradeable grill was cooking on the show floor.
Dealers mixed colors inside the show-floor's Paint Experience Zone.
DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Seen and heard at the Ace show

BY Ken Clark

Dallas — There was plenty of talk of overarching strategy and disruptive competition at the Ace Hardware Convention and Exhibits in Dallas from March 15 to 17. There was also a lot of tire kicking, aisle surfing and product demonstrating on the exhibit floor.

While Ace executives kicked off the market with a detailed overview of strategies to succeed in the new retail environment, the show floor educated and entertained. The co-op’s Famous For 4 categories — paint, grills and outdoor power equipment, home preservation and Christmas lights and gifts — received extra emphasis on the show floor.

Educational sessions ran continually and focused on topics from “What’s New with AceHardware.com” to “Tools to Help You Coach Your Team More Effectively.”

A new convention wrinkle took the form of Experience Zones, areas of concentrated product knowledge in the middle of the show floor’s main aisle. These zones focused on cleaning products, tools, paint, electrical & plumbing and lawn and garden.

Dealers in attendance were encouraged to bring their expertise to the forefront. “That’s what entrepreneurism is all about,” said executive VP John Surane, during the co-op’s general session. “Think about what you’re famous for, build on that, and be famous in the communities you serve.”

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