Ace Paint, founded in 1984 as a division of the Ace Hardware Corporation, has become the nation’s 12th largest paint manufacturer and a producer of more than 1,000 products as it marks its 25th anniversary.
Ace Paint Division has two manufacturing facilities totaling more than 500,000 square feet and employing more than 200 employees in the Chicago suburbs. The division produces 20 million gallons of residential and commercial paints each year for Ace hardware stores.
The paint division’s 25th anniversary coincides with the parent company’s 85th year.
“It’s very rare for major retailers to manufacture their own products, which is one of the primary reasons for our long-term success,” said Bill Bauman, vice president of retail support and paint manufacturing for Ace. “Consumers benefit from an incredible selection of products and colors at a better value than our competitors offer – and our retailers benefit from direct distribution and the opportunity to sell a line of exclusive merchandise.”
Ace’s premium paint lines include a wide array of ready-to-mix colors and thousands of additional color choices.
Ace Paint has introduced several new lines in recent years. Two years ago, it rolled out a cabinet, door and trim enamel featuring Alkatex, a hybrid technology that combines the finish of an alkyd with the soap-and-water clean-up of latex. In 2004, Ace launched Ace Sensations with Scotchgard Protector – a premium acrylic latex flat paint with the washability of a semi-gloss. The year 2002 brought Simply Magic ceiling paint, which features an additive that enables it to brush on blue and dry into a pure white matte finish.
Looking ahead, Ace Paint says it plans to revamp the packaging for its core brands, Royal and Quality, in response to consumer feedback. Beyond that, the division is pledging continued focus on the environment – first by reducing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to 50 grams per liter or less in all core latex paint lines. Ace Paint also is in the process of researching and pursuing eco-friendly certification for select paint lines through a third-party organization and changing the packaging for water-based products from metal to plastic cans, which means the can and contents will be recyclable, the company says.
With 4,600 hardware, home center and building materials stores that generate annual retail sales of more than $12 billion, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. For more information, visit www.acehardware.com.