Ace Hardware has surged six places – from 12th to sixth – on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500list, an annual ranking of the best small-business franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.
Ace is the only home improvement retailer in the top 50 on the 2009 list, which was published online and in the January 2009 issue of the magazine. The company has continued to climb in Entrepreneur’s rankings, moving from 18th in 2007 to 12th in 2008 and now nearing the top five.
According to the magazine, all companies are judged on quantifiable measures of its franchise operations. Researchers consider, among other criteria, the financial strength and stability of companies, along with their growth rate, years in business, startup costs and opportunity for company-backed financing.
“The relative recession resistance of our convenience hardware industry, coupled with the power of our brand and unwavering commitment to assist and enable our local owners, has helped contribute to our ever-better rankings,” said Ray Griffith, president and chief executive officer of Ace Hardware Corp. “Plus, new investors and existing Ace store owners interested in opening additional stores have the best of both worlds: the support and strength of strong national brand and the ability to localize their business to meet the needs of the community.”
Since 2005, Ace has experienced the largest expansion in its 85-year history, opening 420 new stores in the United States. With more than 4,600 neighborhood hardware stores, 50 percent of the U.S. population is within three miles of an Ace store.