By Roger Bell, Editor
PRINCE GEORGE – A national hardware company has announced plans to close its facility in Prince George as it prepares to open a large distribution center in Pennsylvania.
A news release from the company announced that Ace Hardware Corporation, the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative, will be “restructuring” its East Coast retail support by opening a Retail Support Center in Fredericksburg, Pa. This opening is expected by the first quarter of 2018.
The new facility is expected to be a 1.1 million-square-foot site which will serve Ace Hardware facilities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
“Following a rigorous analysis of the company’s distribution network, including its wholesale division, the company has decided to consolidate its distribution efforts to ultimately strengthen the overall retail support network,” the release stated. “As a result, Ace Hardware will close its Retail Support Center in Prince George, Va., a small crossdock in the Baltimore area, and the Emery-Waterhouse operations in Portland, Maine and Piston, Pa.”
“Ace Hardware intends to grow even more aggressively over the next several years. As a result, we are augmenting our distribution capabilities to be faster, nimbler and stronger than ever before,” said Lori Bossmann, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain, Inventory Replenishment and Retail Support, Ace Hardware Corporation. “We are grateful for the service our team members at these facilities have provided to Ace Hardware and Emery-Waterhouse, and we will work with compassion to ensure a smooth transition during this period of change,” Bossmann said.
The release goes on to say the changes to the network will take place in phases over 24 months, with the “valued team members located at the affected facilities, many of whom are tenured,” provided a range of “transition services.” Relocation options will also be provided to “qualified” team members, according to the release.
Ace Hardware is more than 90 years old, with over 5,000 locally-owned and operated hardware stores located around the world.
The company headquarters is located in Oak Brook, Illinois.