Ace Hardware has acquired a majority stake in the e-Commerce startup The Grommet, which markets and sells new and innovative products created by independent entrepreneurs. Among the “Makers” discovered by The Grommet are the people behind FitBit, IdeaPaint, OtterBox, SimpliSafe and SodaStream. The Grommet has launched more than 2,500 innovative consumer products, and created a community of 3 million+ early adopters and supporters.
Analytics conducted by Ace indicate that current Grommet customers visit its stores over 50% more times than the average Ace Rewards customer and spend 2.8X as much. The two companies began working together in 2016 as part of a collaboration to bring new, unique products from independent Makers into select Ace stores.
“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,” said Jules Pieri, Co-Founder and CEO of The Grommet in a statement. “That is a powerful combination. 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’s expansive supply chain and network of 5,034 stores, coupled with The Grommet’s innovative product discovery platform, combine to give dreamers, inventors, innovators and Makers a sustainable, high quality path to meaningful growth,” said Ace President and CEO John Venhuizen.
While Ace will acquire majority control of The Grommet, the hardware retailer plans to provide Pieri and Co-Founder Joanne Domeniconi with considerable autonomy, and has no plans to change the company’s strategic direction.