Ace Hardware opens in G’town
Store already a hit with community

By ALEX BELD - Daily News Staff

Jan. 31, 2018

Store Manger Scott Gorman helps customer Tom Hayes of Germantown near a selection of chainsaws Tuesday afternoon at the ACE Hardware in Germantown.
The hardware store opened Jan. 8.
John Ehlke/Daily News

GERMANTOWN — After two years of looking, Ben Gil found a third home for his chain of Ace Hardware stores in Germantown.

The store opened Jan. 8 and Gil said there has already been an overwhelming response from the community.

“We really strive to cater to our local community,” Gil said. He said his locations in Milwaukee County were often involved in parades and during the month of December they outdo themselves with their involvement in Christmas activities.

The South Milwaukee location brings in reindeer and has a mailbox to send letters to Santa, and Santa will reply to each of them.

The stores, as well as the growth of Gil’s small business also goes against the narrative of big-box retailers and internet sales harming small businesses.

“It’s customer service,” Gil said, adding, “Everyone that comes in is greeted at the door.”

Owner Ben Gil poses for a photo near a display of grills.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Ace Hardware has been ranked the highest in overall customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers for 11 consecutive years. On a scale of 1,000, the rating for the brand went up by 21 to 816 in 2017.

Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power, said in a news release, “Home improvement retailers understand that customers with higher levels of satisfaction are more likely to repurchase and more likely to recommend to their friends and family.”

The hardware retailer also offers some items not sold online and gives shoppers the chance to put their hands on something before they purchase it. It has about 10,000 square feet of space and other than tools, offers various home and garden supplies as well as paint and other home repair materials.

“There’s still a need for someone to come and put their hands on a product,” Gil said.

The store is also ideally located in a strip mall, next to Pick ’n Save and Jimmy Johns on Mequon Road. The various options nearby make the strip more than a one-stop shop, with a little more walking involved.

Gil said he also hopes to work with other businesses in the Germantown area for mutual benefit.

Customers Tom and Nancy Hayes get their groceries nearby and decided to check out the store.

“I thought they had a really nice selection,” Tom said. He added he appreciated the customer service and that he had been talked to three times, something he and Nancy agreed was nice.