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.
“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.