As we enter a very busy 2018, I thought I would spend three minutes updating you on the amazing work that took place when Ace retailers, Ace vendors and Ace corporate team members work together to support two great causes.
Our partnership with CMNH spans more than 26 years and during that time, you have helped us raise more than $93 million dollars that has gone straight to local hospitals all across the country. Money raised local, stays local!
During 2017, working together we raised a record $11 million. This money is used in a number of different ways – here are a few that all of us should be proud of:
- Approximately half of our donations help families that do not have the ability to pay for healthcare. Fifty percent of kids in the US don’t have adequate health care coverage. No child will ever be turned away from a CMNH hospital and we are helping to make sure that never happens.
- Approximately 25% of our donations help pay for life-saving equipment needed for children.
- The rest of the money we raise goes toward funding research, educating families on healthy and safe living and towards child-life areas of the hospitals. Cancer is 2nd leading cause of death for children and CMNH is pushing hard to drive more research on this topic. On any given day, more than 2,500 kids are being treated for cancer. Injury is the #1 leading cause of childhood death in the United States. CMNH Hospitals treat 16,000 children with trauma every day.
So how’d we do it? Here’s some fun fundraising facts:
- In the past two years, Ace stores have sold over 2.03 million World’s Finest Chocolate bars – equaling over $976,000 donated to CMN Hospitals
- In 2017, customers rounded up over 5 million times at the register – raising over $2.7 million, pennies at a time
- Over past five years, the Ace “Miracle Bucket” promotion has raised over $2.7 million
- 3,515 stores made a donation to their local CMN Hospital in 2017 (up from 3,410 in 2016)
Congratulations and thanks for making such a difference in the lives of so many kids and families across the country.
The Ace family also jumped at the chance to help Hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico during 2017. The number of calls and emails that poured in from retailers and corporate team members asking what they could do to help, willing to do just about anything, reminds us why Ace is such a great place.
Retailers all across the country turned on change Round-Up to help hurricane victims through the American Red Cross. In a very short period of time, more than $850,000 was raised. In addition to these monies, approximately $500,000 of tarps and buckets were donated to help with the cleanup efforts in Texas and Florida.
As we delve into 2018, know that you, your vendors and your corporate team came together and helped two great causes. Muhammad Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
I believe it’s safe to say that you covered a lot of rent in 2017.
Happy New Year!
Senior Vice President – Human Resources, Org. Development & Communications
President, Ace Foundation
Locally Owned Retailers Encourage Neighbors to Shop Small
In an article written for Forbes, customer service and experience expert Shep Hyken discusses how Ace Hardware stores stay competitive in an industry glutted with big boxes.
The reasons he credits for Ace’s success are true of many independent home improvement stores, where customer service and problem solving are top reasons customers are loyal, regardless of a business’ distributor affiliation.
Hyken offers the following thoughts on how, in his words, Ace “takes on the big guy and wins.”
- Ace Hardware mystery shops stores. The stores are independently owned, yet they agree to be mystery shopped by the corporate cooperative that supplies their merchandise.
- The stores are easy to do business with. Driving through the parking lot is easier. Navigating through the store doesn’t mean a quarter-mile walk from one side of the store to the other. There seems to be more staff to help the customers than in the typical hardware or big box store.
- Store employees engage their customers when they enter the store. The Ace associates are taught to ask, “What can I help you find today?” And, when they find out, they don’t just point the customer in the right direction, they walk the customer to the item.
- The stores have knowledgeable staff. As they engage with customers and help them find the items they are seeking, they ask appropriate questions that give them the opportunity to help the customer by making suggestions that might make the project easier and even less expensive.
- Ace stores don’t just give friendly service. Engaging the customer is friendly. But, Ace takes it a step further, always making suggestions that help the customer.
The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction StudySM ranked Ace Hardware “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retail Stores” for the eleventh year in a row. Ace has been awarded this ranking by J.D. Power every year since the inception of the survey in 2006.
The 2017 J.D. Power study is based on responses from 2,751 consumers who purchased home improvement products or services over the past 12 months. Ace ranked highest among major retailers with an overall satisfaction index score of 835 on a 1,000-point scale. According to surveyed consumers, Ace performs particularly well in the categories of staff and service, as well as store facility.
This year’s score is based on overall performance in the following five areas: merchandise, price, sales and promotion, staff and service, and store facility.
“We are truly honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award for the eleventh consecutive year,” said John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. “We could have never done it without the loyalty of our neighbors, the entrepreneurialism of our local owners and servant hearts of the 100,000 red-vested heroes upon whose back these awards stand.”
In 2015, Ace Hardware launched the Ace Center for Excellence, a division created to help businesses and organizations around the world improve upon their customer experience utilizing Ace’s award winning approach. Through keynotes and workshops, the Ace Center for Excellence shares the strategies and principles that help leaders cultivate, and team members to contribute to, a culture of customer service that exceeds the consumer’s evolving expectations of helpfulness. For more information, visit www.acecenterforexcellence.com.
For more information, please visit www.acehardware.com.