Report: Kroger, Ace Discussing Partnership

Could Ace Hardware store-within-a-store shops soon be popping up in Kroger stores?

According to a report from TheStreet, Kroger and Ace are in “preliminary talks” to form a partnership that would give Ace a presence within Kroger locations. Officials for both retailers declined to comment on the report.

Kroger currently operates more than 2,800 stores under a host of nameplates while there are more than 5,800 Ace stores across the country.

Over the past year, Kroger and Ace each have worked to develop new ways to attract shoppers to their respective stores while also boosting e-commerce offerings.

In December, Kroger opened its 1,000th ClickList store and also launched a new integrated digital shopping experience for its online shopping assortments.

According to the company, the seamless digital experience focuses on providing Kroger customers with quicker and easier access to relevant products and recipes, digital coupons, weekly ads and shopping lists joined by an easy-to-use, fully integrated ClickList experience.

In 2017, Ace acquired the Grommet and used the acquisition to attract makers in an effort to draw in potential new vendors who have developed fresh product ideas.

This expanded a relationship started in 2016 when Ace and The Grommet teamed on a product collection that would feature local makers, giving them a showcase in the chain’s hardware and, to a lesser but substantial degree, home goods stores. The 20 items in the initial collaboration first rolled out to 160 Ace stores and then became available to more of the chain.