Ace Hardware Retools Private Brand

Ace Hardware front    Oak Brook, Illinois based home improvement cooperative Ace Hardware has redesigned the packaging for it’s eponymous Private Brand. The new design is a much-needed update bringing a fresh modern face to a Private Brand that has not seen a face lift in close to 20 years. More than 5,000 Ace retailers from all 50 states and 73 countries learned about the redesign at this year’s Ace Hardware Convention held September 10-12 in Orlando, Florida.

The rebranding is a major step in the evolution of Ace’s private label portfolio. The retailer has dubbed the program, “Hardware: Unlock the Potential.” The repackaging has affected about 1,400 skus and is expected to be readily visible in store by the first quarter of 2014.

“It’s more user friendly,” Cynthia Brasic, Ace brand manager told Home Improvement trade magazine HCN. “We actually color-coded the packaging so that we make it more shopper friendly. All the bullet points have been updated so that it’s not industry information – its information that will help the consumer make a decision.”

In addition to the color-coding, the brand now boasts an easily shoppable two-tier brand architecture that includes the traditional Ace products and Ace Premium products in a silver\gray packaging.

Ace Hardware two tierThe new packaging has a sustainability angle, too. A trap-blister package replaces a clamshell package. Brasic says the new packaging will introduce savings of the equivalent of about 8.4 million water bottles per year.


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.