By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer
Same-day delivery has increased in popularity with retailers throughout different industry categories, with retailers such as Macy's testing the service. Hardware retailer Ace Hardware has now been added to the list, as the company is in the midst of testing same-day delivery in select markets for purchases made on Ace.com. Announced via press release on February 17, the program builds on Ace Hardware's In-Store Pickup program, and is known as Ace Express Delivery.
Ace Hardware rolled out the pilot on January 26 to stores located in Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, Texas and Arizona. The pilot is available in 33 stores total, and the retailer will test Express Delivery to prepare for a national roll-out. The In-Store Pickup program is currently available in 1,600 retail locations, and lets consumers buy online at AceHardware.com, then pick up their purchase free in-store. As an extension of the program, Express Delivery will help consumers get their item delivered right to their door for a $5.00 fee. The fee is on par with fees charged by other retailers, and orders must be received by 1:00 P.M. to be eligible for same-day delivery. All orders eligible for Express Delivery must be made by customers within a five-mile radius of a participating store. A list of the 33 locations participating in Express Delivery is available on the Ace Hardware website.
The offer will help consumers close the gap of going to the store, finding the item they need, purchasing it, and bringing it home. The retailer cites how valuable Express Delivery will be to individuals who need to finish a project, or are unable to bring a large item home in their vehicle. The pilot program will utilize employees from the retail locations participating in Express Delivery, so consumers may even get a delivery from one of their favorite local store's associates. The retailer chose to offer the feature after studying what percentage of their customers live less than 10 miles from an Ace Hardware location.
“About 61% of consumers across the country live within five miles of their neighborhood Ace, and that proximity to the household sets us apart. The Ace Hardware brand has always been synonymous with helpful and excellent customer service, so Express Delivery from your local Ace store represents a perfect extension of our brand promise – Amazing Every Customer, Every Time. We also think there’s a huge value to consumers in having their products delivered by a helpful Ace associate, who they might even recognize from their local store,” says John Surane, Ace Hardware Corporation's Executive Vice President of Marketing, Merchandising, and Sales.
Established over 90 years ago, Ace currently maintains 4,400 stores throughout the United States, with a total 4,900 located around the world. The retailer operates 14 distribution centers in the states and in January, Ace Hardware acquired Jenson Distribution Services. Jenson Distribution Services serves thousands of customers in the United States, and carries more than 65,000 items. The acquisition helped strengthen Ace Hardware's distribution process, and will likely be integral as the retailer expands Express Delivery to stores nationally.