This month’s edition of the packaging trade magazine Brand Packaging features a look inside the private brand program of Ace Hardware. The article written by Cindy Brasic the global private label brand manager includes a look at the evolving portfolio and the recent redesigns.
Ace Hardware Rolls Out a Helpful Store Brand Refresh
Ever since 1924, when Ace Hardware, “The Helpful Place,” was founded, the company has been dedicated to bringing quality products to its loyal customers. In addition to working with thousands of the world’s finest merchandise vendors, such as Craftsman and Valspar, Ace Hardware puts its own personal stamp of approval on nearly 10,000 different products through its private label merchandise program.
The history of the Ace store brand merchandise dates back to the company’s inception more than 90 years ago. Fast-forward to 2015: Today, Ace Hardware’s private label products are specifically sought out by customers for their quality, durability and value. Ace’s lineup of exclusive brands include Ace, Living Accents, Celebrations, OakBrook Collection, Home Plus, Steel Grip and Grill Mark. Together, these brands annually drive a significant portion of revenue for the $4.7 billion corporation. Ace’s private label business experienced a sales increase of 9.5 percent in 2014, including store brands.
Currently, Ace is in the midst of a multi-year project to refresh the look and shopability of its Ace brand merchandise. The overhaul includes packaging updates on a wide range of products — everything from basic hardware to birdseed. The decision to refresh the packaging presentation of the already well-established Ace brand wasn’t a decision made in haste. In fact, a cross-functional team comprised of corporate employees, retail store owners and external agencies collaborated for more than a year to formulate the vision.
Since the Ace rebranding effort began in 2012, the packaging of more than 7,500 SKUs has been updated, with the end goal of completing more than 9,000 SKUs by 2016. The refreshed packaging is intended to be as informative as possible and features consumer-friendly bullet points, bilingual text and colorful banding to make sure customers are getting the exact product they need.