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Ace Hardware launches ‘Express’ store format for smaller spaces

BY Marianne Wilson

Oakbrook, Ill. — Ace Hardware has launched an “Express” format for both current Ace retailers and other business owners seeking to integrate the Ace brand into their existing offerings. The new, more compact stores average 5,000-sq.-ft. or less, and include customized merchandising displays and stock more than 11,000 of the most popular and profitable hardware products.

“At this time, there are nearly 400 successful Ace Hardware retail locations operating within less than 5,000 sq. ft., and the consistent high performance of these stores proved we had an incredible opportunity to create a specialized, smaller-format Ace retail model,” said Mike Berschauer, director, retail development, Ace Hardware Corp. “Our goal is both to drive incremental store growth for Ace and to mirror the ‘best in class’ offerings available at our larger stores. Essentially we’re providing the same top-notch brands and exceptional customer service, but just in a smaller space.”

The Ace Hardware “Express” format makes it possible for Ace to continue growing share in markets that aren’t able to accommodate additional full-size retail locations and is ideal for the following retail scenarios:

Ace will provide incentives of up to $150,000 to retailers utilizing the “Express” format. In addition, the company has created a variety of tailored resources to support these retailers – including merchandise profile guides, plan-o-grams to ensure that product selection is “shoppable” for customers, customized fixtures to create space efficiencies and a variety of incentive programs.

In addition, the in-stock product selection at “Express” format locations will mirror that available in a larger store model.

Currently, there are “Express” format Ace Hardware locations in six states across the United States – including Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

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Judge scolds attorneys for rushing to court over Wal-Mart bribery allegations in Mexico

BY Staff Writer

New York — A judge in Delaware on Monday denied requests from the California State Teachers Retirement System and a group of New York City pension funds to seek appointments of lead plaintiff and lead counsel in a consolidated shareholder lawsuit over allegations of bribery involving Wal-Mart Stores’ operations in Mexico, the Associated Press reported.

The judge said the attorneys seemed more interested in filing sloppy complaints based on media reports, rather than demanding corporate records from Wal-Mart and taking time to investigate, the report said.

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Discover card now accepted at Neiman Marcus stores

BY Staff Writer

Riverwoods, Ill. — Discover on Monday announced that its cards are now accepted at Neiman Marcus stores nationwide.

“By adding Discover as another payment option, Neiman Marcus continues to give customers more flexibility and convenience at the point of sale," said Jim Gold, president, specialty retail, The Neiman Marcus Group. “We are happy to open our Neiman Marcus stores to loyal Discover card members so they can shop their favorite brands and earn more rewards.”

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