Why Is Ace Hardware So Expensive

Ace Hardware stores are about twice as prevalent as Home Depots across North America, though these additional stores don’t have an impact on the price of merchandise in their stores. Why is Ace Hardware so expensive? 

Ace Hardware can be considered expensive thanks to some factors that come with more independence in its ownership. Its inventory costs are often higher than big box companies, and the franchise owner may have a different financial backing than other stores that sell similar products and services. 

Keep reading to learn more about Ace Hardware and why it might be a more expensive option. 

What makes Ace Hardware expensive to shop at? 

More factors affect the consumer price of merchandise at Ace Hardware than meets the eye. A smaller store and stock room typically will reduce the amount of merchandise that can be purchased, thereby reducing any potential bulk discount offered by suppliers. This excess cost gets passed down to the consumer, but that’s common for businesses. 

The things that set Ace Hardware apart from other similar stores are its availability and ease of access. Unfortunately, space in these easily accessible areas can lead to more expensive rent than places that are a bit less convenient for the consumer.

Since Ace is known to operate more independently, the options for sourcing its inventory may not be as expansive as other stores. This can lead to more expensive upfront costs for their merchandise, which largely determines what the consumer will pay in-store.

With the number of stores across the country, transportation costs are likely high, which will also have to be factored into the overall price the consumer sees. 

Some other costs that factor into the high prices consumers pay are the salaries of the store managers, who get paid (on average) about 33% above the national average at over $68,000 per year.

Hourly team members are also paid in keeping with the national average for that position, but slightly more than other home improvement stores pay their team members. The fact that Ace Hardware stores are also usually well-staffed and offer benefits to their full-time employees also adds to the cost of running a franchise. 

Is Ace Hardware better than Lowes or Home Depot? 

It’s a common thought that Ace Hardware, Lowes, and Home Depot are all directly competing with the others. This isn’t necessarily the case, as Lowes and Home Depot have larger stores and, therefore, a vast amount of inventory compared to the more limited products available at Ace. Here’s a simple breakdown of what to expect from each store: 

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware has less inventory and fewer selections for things like paint and building materials. The best purchases here are usually for items needed in smaller quantities or more “basic” tools, where it’s okay if there isn’t a wide variety available.

There are also more Ace stores accessible than other home improvement stores, and they are often located in areas that are easier to get to, so there is an added layer of convenience if there’s just one thing you’re missing for your project that doesn’t warrant a whole trip to Home Depot or Lowes. 

Home Depot and Lowes 

While Ace Hardware isn’t a competitor to either Home Depot or Lowes, these two home improvement giants compete with each other. Both stores boast much larger spaces to carry a variety of products, though a drawback is that it can take a lot of work to find what you need or get good, knowledgeable customer service.

Prices may be lower at these places than at Ace due to the steeper discount larger chains get when purchasing products in bulk quantities. 

Final Thoughts

Ace Hardware isn’t known as the cheaper option when it comes to home improvement needs, but its customer service and availability tend to win customers over. Consumers consistently rate shopping at Ace Hardware above other similar businesses, so despite their high costs, they still have good overall customer satisfaction. 

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