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ACO Hardware to Transition Stores to Ace Affiliation

FARMINGTON HILLS, Michigan – January 8, 2014 – ACO Hardware, Michigan’s largest independent home and hardware store chain located throughout the Detroit market and beyond will join Ace Hardware, the nation’s largest hardware cooperative. ACO currently has 52 stores, all of which are located in Michigan.

Headquartered in Farmington Hills, ACO, which was originally founded in 1946 as Traskos Brothers Hardware Depot in Dearborn, has been firmly rooted in its founding principle of providing friendly and knowledgeable service. The organization currently employs approximately 850 associates and will continue to be an economic driver in the Detroit market.

The transition to Ace will take place over a six-month period, at which point all stores will have reopened as Ace Hardware branded stores. ACO was drawn to Ace Hardware for a myriad of reasons, most notably for its world-class distribution network, wholesale buying power and award-winning brand.

Once transitioned to Ace Hardware stores, consumers will benefit from Ace’s nationally-recognized brands such as Craftsman and Valspar, as well as exclusive lines such as Clark+Kensington and over 10,000 Ace-branded products.

“Last year, we committed to our customers that we would invest and grow our business,” said Mark VandenBerg, CFO, ACO Hardware.

“After months of research and due diligence, we are confident we have selected the best organization with which to align and grow. Ace Hardware offers our stores a world class brand, top notch merchandise opportunities and a supply chain network second to none.”

VandenBerg also stated that ACO will operate the new Ace Hardware stores under the name Great Lakes Ace as part of its continuing commitment to Michigan consumers.

The ACO stores will offer savings on current inventory as they sell down to clear the stores. SB Capital Group, LLC, has been retained to operate transitional sale events in the ACO store locations. The 26 ACO locations listed below are the first group of stores slated for conversion. They will commence an inventory sale. The stores include: Auburn Hills, Brighton, Center Line, Clarkston, Clawson, Clinton Township, Farmington Hills, Highland, Lake Orion, Macomb, Milford, Port Huron, Rochester Hills, Roseville, Royal Oak, St. Clair Shores (2), Shelby Township, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Union Lake, Warren (3) and Waterford (2).

The remaining ACO locations will be part of a second transition cycle, with dates of the sale and conversion of the stores to the Ace Hardware brand yet to be announced.