Ace Hardware was founded in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois. The company was named after the ace fighter pilots in World War I. The company incorporated in 1927 and by 1949, had expanded to hundreds of locations. After the last founding partner retired in 1973, the company was sold to its retailers, making it one of the largest cooperatives of its time. Since Ace Hardware stores are not a franchise, every store looks a bit different.
Today, Ace Hardware has 4,700 stores and has moved their headquarters to Oak Brook, Illinois. The company sells the usual hardware, paint, and home repair items including hand tools, key duplication, and tool blade sharpening. Ace Hardware had $4.7 billion in sales in 2014 and ranked #1 for the 9th consecutive year in customer satisfaction on the J.D. Powers Index.