SOURCE: Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware

February 25, 2014 09:05 ET

Ace Hardware Extends Helpful Digital Experience Through New iPhone App and In-Store Pickup Feature

Retailer Launches Mobile App for iPhone and Introduces In-Store Pickup for Acehardware.com

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwired - Feb 25, 2014) - Ace Hardware, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry, today announced two initiatives designed to further extend Ace's helpful brand promise on its digital platforms. The first initiative is the launch of a mobile app for iPhone devices, which provides all of the great features of Ace's mobile website, along with some exclusive new benefits, in an easy to use application. Additionally, Ace announced the roll-out of in-store pickup to its retailers, a new feature that will allow customers to check their local store's available inventory on acehardware.com, go in-store to make their purchase or place their order online and pick it up as soon as the same day.

"The launch of Ace's iPhone app and introduction of in-store pickup is all about being helpful and convenient in whatever way consumers want to access Ace," said Jeff Gooding, Director, Consumer Marketing, Ace Hardware Corporation. "With the increasing consumer usage of digital tools to help complete home maintenance and repair projects and the continued rapid growth of smartphones, we want to ensure our customers receive the same helpful experience with us on our digital platforms as they do at their neighborhood Ace."

In addition to allowing consumers to conduct research, read reviews and purchase all products available at acehardware.com, the Ace iPhone app also allows users to access helpful how-to videos and step-by-step project information -- whenever and wherever they have their mobile devices. The mobile app also offers consumers the ability to scan product barcodes and QR codes to review product information and reviews while in-store, share product information through their social channels and receive push notifications with special offers and content.

App users can also find their local Ace through a geo location enabled store locator feature that allows users to quickly view store services, featured brands, upcoming events and store programs for the brick and mortar Ace Hardware retailers nearest to them -- whether they're at home or traveling. The store locator page also provides links to each store's most recent advertisements and sales information.

Members of Ace Rewards®, a loyalty program that allows consumers to accumulate rewards points based on dollars spent, can use the app to access a virtual Ace Rewards card, check point totals, review purchase histories and update profile information. First-time members also will be able to sign up for the program through the app, which is now available for free download from the Apple App Store. Ace also has plans to release a mobile app for Android devices with the same features and functionality as the iPhone app, which will be released later this spring.

The introduction of in-store pickup, which will allow customers to check their local store's available inventory on acehardware.com, go in-store to make their purchase or place their order online and pick it up as soon as the same day, offers customers convenient service and helps them complete their projects faster. After completing a series of successful pilot programs with select retailers, Ace is making the in-store pickup program available to retailers across the country beginning this month and aims to have more than 2,000 stores participating in the program by September 2014. Since 2003, consumers have been able to shop acehardware.com and ship their order for free to their local Ace for pickup. With the introduction of in-store pickup, consumers will now be able to get their desired products more quickly by eliminating shipping time for in-stock products, providing customers with the same helpful and convenient experience they can expect at their neighborhood Ace.

About Ace Hardware
For 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2013, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Seven Years in a Row" according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,800 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Shanghai, China; Panama City, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.

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