Local Store Management Team: Front Row (left to right) – David Pardue, Terry House, Carl Cantrell, Randall Slack, Ron Hannah, Harold Stockburger, Jerry Campbell, Denny Allen, Bill Lemley and Roy Gadd. Back Row (left to right) – Joe Rutter, Chris Scutella, Ray Ivey, Ed Virgin, Warren Cates, Phil Cawood, Rick Williams and Matt Hess.
Locally Ace continually adjusts its mix of products, and it’s been busy the last several years adding some of the best brands in the business such as Benjamin Moore Paints, Stihl outdoor power equipment and Craftsman tools. Ace has also built a reputation for stocking lesser known and hard to fi nd items that can really simplify a project. Ace has drawers and drawers of all kinds of stuff that every now and then can really come in handy. Most retailers choose not to stock these “slow movers,” but Ace believes it is just part of being helpful.
With over 25,000 items in each store, the local Ace stores can also pull from an Ace retail support center that stocks approximately 75,000 items. The merchandise from that center can be ordered and in the store within a couple of days. Including merchandise available directly from vendor partners, Ace has ready access to well over a million products.
Known more as a neighborhood hardware store with the agility to respond quickly to changes in local market trends and preferences, Ace is often mistaken for a small player in the home improvement marketplace. However, the cooperative of 4,600 Ace stores wields the buying power that ensures each store can successfully compete with some of the world’s largest retailers. For 87 years, Ace has consistently demonstrated its ability to capture the consumer’s attention.
“We promote ourselves as ‘the helpful place’ and that’s truly our focus,” said local president Tom Glenn. “We’re lucky to live and work in this community and to have the customers we have. We know that our customers can always choose to shop elsewhere.”
Ace’s local culture of helpfulness is primarily driven by the store managers. Experience truly counts when it comes to running the operation. Many of the local store managers have been with Ace for over 20 years such as Jerry Campbell, Dayton Blvd.; Roy Gadd, East Ridge; Bill Lemley, Hwy. 58; Ron Hannah, Chickamauga; Randall Slack, Cleveland; and Steve Kelly, Director of Store Operations. Most of the other managers have been with Ace for more than 10 years.
“We have a never-ending dialogue with our associates about our uncompromising pursuit of being ‘helpful,’ said Director of Store Operations, Steve Kelly. “And if we do fail on occasion in spite of our best attempts to be helpful, then everyone here at Ace understands the great lengths we’re willing to go in order to recover from our mistake and please our customer.”
Ace has been recognized locally for its helpfulness by receiving the Times Free Press “Best of the Best” award in the hardware store category since the inception of that award. Similarly, Ace has been recognized nationally for five years in a row by J. D. Powers and Associates for offering the best customer service in the Home Improvement industry.
“We at Ace are proud to be a member of the Chattanooga, Cleveland, and North Georgia communities,” said Glenn. “The next time you need help, we hope you’ll visit.”