Lenexa, KS-based Westlake Ace Hardware has purchased four Watkins Hardware stores in Maryville, MO; Red Oak, IA; and Beatrice and Nebraska City, NE. Westlake will begin rebranding the stores immediately.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Westlake Hardware is a chain of 85 neighborhood hardware stores located in the Midwest. The company was started in 1905 in Huntsville, MO, when W.I. Westlake bought part ownership in a hardware store there. Three years later, he became sole proprietor and Westlake Hardware was born. The company first expanded by opening new stores in Missouri. In the 1970’s Westlake opened stores in Kansas and other states. Westlake joined Ace Hardware distribution network in 1949 and became the largest Ace dealer In America, which provided customers with access to more than 70,000 items and competitive pricing from the organization’s immense buying power.
In 2006, the private equity firm, Goldner Hawn Johnson and Morrison, purchased the family-owned Westlake chain. In late 2012, the Ace Hardware Corporation acquired Westlake. Westlake currently operates as a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Ace.