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The Backyard and BBQ shop includes flooring to help define the area.
A lawn-and-garden area emphasizes spring merchandise.
Benjamin Moore is the new addition to the Ace Paint Studio.
The Cornerstone concept store attracted a crowd in Atlanta.
Stores with an up-to-date impulse alley at checkout are seeing higher sales and higher profit, Ace said.
Counter-top signage promotes a program for the kids.
Ace's model expanded space dedicated to grilling by 30% to 50%, depending on the format.
A sandpaper shelf.
Cornerstone integrated power tools and outdoor power equipment into a single shop.
Ace's 'Cornerstone' store made a splash at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Inside Ace’s ‘Cornerstone’ store

See for yourself the co-op's concept store that drew a crowd in Atlanta.

BY Ken Clark

Atlanta — Described as the “evolution of the Ace store model,” Ace Hardware’s ‘Cornerstone’ concept store carved out some 8,000 sq. feet from the show floor here at the Georgia World Congress Center and demonstrated some of the co-op’s new ideas in retailing.

Assortment optimization and experiential retailing were among the key objectives to the new store layout.

“It’s something really cool at the show that we haven’t done in about 25 years,” said John Surane, executive VP and chief merchandising and sales officer. “You’ll be able to see actually how this stuff can come to life.” Merchandising tactics in the store layout are based on analytics of the co-op’s best-in-class Ace retailers.

The concepts contained inside the Cornerstone store can be customized to fit various store footprints.

A key to the store’s success is its elevation of key brands. Ace has identified 11 “best brands” that are fueling top line growth and store productivity. The eleven are: Milwaukee, Weber, Toro, STIHL, Ego, Big Green Egg, Benjamin Moore, Craftsman, Traeger, Yeti and Scotts. Stores with nine or more of these brands enjoy 60% higher sales per square foot than those that carry 6 or fewer.

Ace also said store remodels bring business. Stores that have completed recent remodels have five times the sales growth of stores that have not remodeled in 8 years.


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