Ace Hardware Acquires The Grommet

The Grommet co-founders, Joanne Domeniconi and Jules Pieri, and their employees, will continue to have some equity ownership of the company
October 5, 2017Allison Zisko

The Grommet at Ace Hardware_FULLThe Grommet display at an Ace Hardware store
OAK BROOK, Ill.—Ace Hardware Corporation has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in e-commerce startup, The Grommet.

The Grommet operates an e-commerce website that markets and sells products created by independent entrepreneurs, also known as Makers. It has discovered and launched dozens of now household brand names, including FitBit, IdeaPaint, OtterBox, SimpliSafe and SodaStream.

Ace Hardware and The Grommet first began working together in 2016 as part of a collaboration to bring new, unique and otherwise undiscovered products from independent Makers into select Ace stores.

“We both stand as strong advocates for the underdog. From the very beginning we have appreciated our alignment in support for and advancement of the independent maker,” said Ace Hardware President and CEO John Venhuizen. “Under Ace’s ownership, I believe The Grommet can offer our customers more of that which fuels global economies and makes America special—the unbridled creativity of the local entrepreneur.”

“The Grommet has often been called a ‘general store for innovation,’ and Ace is a trusted destination for the goods and services homeowners need to take care of their homes. That is a powerful combination,” said Jules Pieri, co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. “Both companies have a deep heritage of helping local businesses thrive so our values are uncannily compatible. And how fitting is it that our company is named after a humble piece of hardware? There is some destiny at work here.”

Ace Hardware is now the majority, controlling owner of The Grommet, however, both of the company’s original founders, Joanne Domeniconi and Jules Pieri, and their employees, will continue to have some equity ownership of the company. Ace said it intends to provide considerable autonomy to The Grommet and has no plans to change the company’s strategic direction.

Ace Hardware said retail analytics from its stores demonstrate significant value in aligning both physical stores with a digital discovery platform. Current customers of The Grommet visit Ace more than 50 percent more times than the average Ace Rewards customer and spend 2.8 times as much.

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor
azisko@hfnmag.com

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.

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