Partnership with The Grommet will bring unique products to do-it-yourselfers
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (October 11, 2017) – “Long a supplier to inventors, do-it-yourselfers and craftsmen and women, Ace Hardware has just acquired a majority stake in digitally-native The Grommet as it places bets on the burgeoning Maker Movement,” reports Pamela N. Danziger, a contributor to Forbes, in her October 7 article. The article goes on to describe the “Maker Movement,” which is a culture that values innovation and invention in physical tools as well as digital tools.
Ace Hardware is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world, with more than 5,000 stores, all of them locally owned. The Lansing store is Gus Bock’s Ace Hardware, founded in 1935 by Gus Bock and joining the Ace family in 1999. Today Keith Grill and his brother Rob own the Lansing Ace as well as Ace Hardware stores in Munster and Dyer.
The Grommet is a “product launch platform” that introduces unique, newly invented products via its website and email list. In 2014 they set a goal “that within five years 10% of all products flowing through U.S. retail will be originating from independent small-scale Makers, creating vibrant jobs and innovative products in every corner of our country.”
The Ace Hardware corporation began working with The Grommet in 2016, and Keith confirms seeing “Grommets” at recent Ace conventions he has attended. He says the corporate partnership with The Grommet won’t have an immediate impact on the Lansing store, but shoppers will begin seeing unique new products on the shelves this spring. The partnership will make it possible for Ace shoppers to see and purchase these independently made Grommet products before anyone else.
The Lansing Ace Hardware is located at 3455 Ridge Road.