Lenexa, Kansas based Westlake Ace Hardware is sold to Ace Hardware Corporation of Oak Brook, IL. Since 2006 Westlake Ace Hardware was owned by Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, a Minneapolis-based private equity firm.
Westlake Hardware is a chain of 85 neighborhood hardware stores located in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. The company was started in 1905 in Huntsville, MO, when W. I. Westlake bought part ownership in a hardware store. Three years later he became sole proprietor and Westlake Hardware was born. The company first expanded by opening new stores in Missouri and then, in the 1970’s, opened stores in Kansas and other states. Westlake has always been a privately held company. It was family owned until 2006. The $88 million acquisition closed on December 18th.
Ace is the largest retailer-owned cooperative and clear leader in the convenience segment of the hardware industry in terms of wholesale and retail sales and strength of the brand. Ace’s 4,600 stores in all 50 states and more than 60 countries generate annual retail sales of approximately $12 billion.
Headquartered in Oak Brook, IL, Ace currently operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and one in Shanghai, China. Ace employs approximately 4,500 corporate team members worldwide and has four regional offices, located in Raleigh, N.C; Atlanta, Ga.; Denver, Colo.; and Woodridge, Ill.