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6. Ace Hardware

Last Year's Rank: 6

Investment Range: Over $1 Million

Category: Retail

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Company Description


Ace Hardware is the largest retail-owned hardware cooperative in the world. Although it is considered a franchised business since independent owners operate most of its locations, Ace is formally a retailers' cooperative, having been sold back to its retailers in 1973. 

Ace franchisees are not only business owners, but also shareholders in the organization. Franchisees also pay no royalty fees.

In June 2015, Ace Hardware acquired Jensen Distribution Services, a hardware distributor that serves more than 2,000 customers in 11 Western states. As of 2015, Ace Hardware had 4,311 locations throughout the United States. Ace also has 579 international stores operating in 60 countries. 

Company Statistics


Global Sales: $15,016,000,000

US Units: 4,461

International Units: 631

Total Units: 5,092

Percent Franchised: 98%

% International Units: 12%

US Franchised Units: 4,363

International Franchised Units: 631

Updated Statistics

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