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Ace Hardware goes all in on neighborhood stores

Ace Hardware goes all in on neighborhood stores

A boom in home remodeling has put the spotlight on strong sales at home improvement chains like Home Depot and Lowe's, but Oak Brook-based Ace Hardware Corp. also is seeing rising sales and revenues at its local retailer-owned stores.

President and CEO John Venhuizen, 46, joined the company's marketing department in 1992. What's kept him at "The Helpful Place"? Venhuizen, a graduate of Palos Heights' Trinity Christian College, said he likes that Ace — despite its claim to be the world's largest hardware cooperative — still has an underdog mindset.

"We duke it out with some of the world's best retailers, mostly with small family businesses," he...

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