Ebel’s Ace Hardware at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center in Homewood celebrated the grand opening of its new store location on Monday, Jan. 22. It moved from 18410 Governors Highway to 18320 Governors Highway, a few units away.
While the space is smaller, management said this new store is an improvement with updated shelves and light fixtures, a more accurately cataloged inventory and a selection of products better suited to what sells in the community.
Last summer, Cherry Creek’s ownership approached Ace Hardware to tell them that some of the businesses in the shopping center would be shuffled around to make way for a Franciscan Health medical facility. With cheaper rent in the new location, Ace Hardware happily obliged, said Steve Klusacek, Ace Hardware general manager in Homewood, Elmhurst and the 104th and Kedzie Avenue store in Chicago.
“In retail, you’re always changing things. So, you don’t often get a chance to just do the entire store instead of just little bits at a time,” Klusacek said. “Right now, it’s completely updated.”
Because paint, lawn and garden products were selling well in Homewood, Klusacek said the new store is stocking a wider selection of them.
While some items are no longer available on site, the only products noticeably absent are the large selection of grills, Klusacek said.
“Over there, we had, like, 40 grills because we had the space to have the grills out. Now, we still carry all those but we just don’t have them in the showroom space,” Klusacek said, meaning these products can still be ordered online and picked up at the store.
“We lost a lot of space,” floor manager Erika Picazo said. “But it’s more convenient. It’s cozier. People find stuff better than a big, large place.”
Picazo said a lot of customers come to Ace for key, glass and screen services and a smaller space can feel more comforting.
“This is a better Ace Hardware,” Homewood Mayor Rich Hofeld said. “You don’t have to walk five miles as you would in a big box store.”
“I’d rather have a slightly more condensed Ace Hardware than no Ace Hardware,” Homewood Trustee Jay Heiferman said.