bannerFranchisor Stories

How Much Does It Cost To Open an Ace Hardware Franchise?

After the initial costs to buy in, Ace Hardware franchisees do not pay ongoing royalty fees, meaning everything put in goes toward the company they own.

Ace Hardware, a staple in the hardware retail industry, offers individuals the opportunity to become part of its globally recognized brand through franchise ownership. Established in 1924 in Chicago, Ace Hardware has grown into the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative worldwide, boasting over 5,600 locally owned and operated stores in around 65 countries.

For aspiring entrepreneurs looking to invest in “the place with the helpful hardware folks,” here’s some key insight into the financial commitments and business model associated with opening an Ace Hardware store.

The Investment

The initial investment to open an Ace Hardware franchise can range from $579,000 to $1.9 million (or more), depending on the size of the store. The franchise has set minimum financial requirements for prospective owners, requiring $250,000 in unencumbered cash and a net worth of $400,000. 

Despite the significant upfront investment, Ace Hardware stands out by not imposing ongoing franchise fees or royalty fees, allowing all funds invested to contribute directly to the growth and success of their individual stores.

Ace Hardware Network

Ace Hardware's extensive network includes more than 5,800 locally owned hardware stores spread across all 50 states and 60 countries, with global sales surpassing $22 billion. The brand's commitment to local communities is evident in the diverse store sizes, catering to the specific needs of urban, rural and suburban areas. In 2023 alone, Ace Hardware added over 100 new locations, contributing to over 1,100 stores opened globally in the past five years.

Growth and Expansion

To accommodate its rapid growth, Ace Hardware continues to invest in expanding its distribution network. Plans include adding 4.4 million square feet of capacity through the opening of three new warehouses in the next five years. This expansion builds upon the already impressive addition of more than 2.5 million square feet in the past four years, reinforcing Ace Hardware's commitment to meeting the demands of a growing franchise network.

Business Model

Ace Hardware's business model emphasizes the active involvement of franchise owners in the day-to-day operations of their stores. While owners enjoy a considerable degree of independence, running the business as an absentee or semi-absentee owner is not permissible. 

The franchise offers various store formats to cater to different markets, including Convenience Hardware, Core Hardware, Super Hardware, Home Center and Contractor-Oriented Supply formats. The flexibility in store formats allows franchisees to tailor their offerings to the specific needs of their communities, as well as their financial capabilities.

Opening an Ace Hardware franchise provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to be part of a globally renowned brand with a rich history. As Ace Hardware continues its global expansion, the franchise remains an attractive option for those looking to invest in a hardware retail business and become integral members of their local communities.

At the 1851 Growth Club, we can help you find the right franchise for you at the right price point with your best interests at heart. Reach out today to start building your franchise legacy!