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Ace Hardware Stores Welcome Local Makers

Ace Hardware Corporation and The Grommet are pleased to announce a joint collaboration to bring the innovations of local Makers into Ace Hardware retail stores.

Ace will debut its collaboration with The Grommet, the leading product launch platform for innovative consumer products, in select Ace stores this holiday season and extending through 2017. The new relationship will leverage the strength and passion of locally-owned Ace stores with the ingenuity of undiscovered inventors, known as “Makers.”

For the launch, 20 unique products from The Grommet, sourced from 15 local Makers, will debut in over 160 Ace stores; assortments will be updated each season. Products are unexpected, newly discovered and fit within at least one of 10 core values that are central to The Grommet’s discovery process, including: Made in the USA; Sustainable Living; Made for a Lifetime; Tech & Innovation; Handcrafted; Independent Maker; Social Enterprises; Philanthropy; Underrepresented Entrepreneurs; and Crowd-funded.

Examples of these uniquely helpful products that will be featured in the launch include:

  • A digital tape measure made by eTape16;
  • A keyring USB and mobile phone charger made by Nomad;
  • A collapsible water bottle made by Hydaway;
  • A bracelet that discreetly and fashionably hides a hair tie, made by bittersweet;
  • An eyeglass cleaner that uses NASA technology called Peeps. This product is the first Grommet to have channel exclusivity at Ace for six months, meaning big box retail stores won’t have access to sell this item.

“Since 2008, our mission at The Grommet has been to launch innovative consumer products and help the small businesses behind them to succeed,” said Jules Pieri, Co-founder & CEO of The Grommet. “Given Ace Hardware’s dedication to local and small businesses – and that they are independent store owners themselves – we are very excited to partner with them to help make Ace Hardware’s stores a “destination for innovation.” By bringing dozens of Grommets to stores across the country, we are helping these entrepreneurs to reach a massive new audience.”

“For 92 years, Ace has stood for local small business; for the underdog who dukes it out against the Goliaths of corporate America,” said John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. “So the partnership with The Grommet not only aligns with the passions of our local owners, but fuels our desire to further Ace as the place for the dreamers, inventors, innovators and Makers. We are proud to stand with The Grommet and their platform for local makers.”

The Grommet has discovered and brought to market dozens of now household brand names, including FitBit, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and SodaStream. To date, they have launched more than 2,200 innovative consumer products and amassed a community of nearly three million early adopters and supporters. Followers eagerly await product launches that happen each weekday on The Grommet’s ecommerce site. For the collaboration, Ace will tap into The Grommet’s wholesale operation, housing more than 10,000 unique finds from independent Makers.

In addition to delighting customers with unique products from The Grommet, Ace wants Makers to know that it could serve as a vehicle to bring their product concepts to retail shelves. “We want the Makers of the world – the dreamers, inventors and entrepreneurs – to know that Ace is your place, too,” said Venhuizen. “As the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative, we have the supply chain infrastructure and the buying power to bring the right products to life across nearly 5,000 stores. Send information about your most innovative products to us at Ace, and we’ll be ready to review your creations to see if we can champion your product to bring to consumers through Ace stores.”

Makers can submit information on their products to Ace Hardware by sending an email to: innovation@ acehardware.com Makers can submit products to The Grommet here.

For a complete list of Ace stores that will feature an in-store display featuring products from The Grommet, visit this page.

SourceTheGrommet Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.