The Grommet, based in Somerville, Massachusetts, operates an e-commerce website that markets and sells new and innovative products created by independent entrepreneurs, which the site calls "makers." A number of brands have been launched on the site, including FitBit, IdeaPaint, OtterBox, SimpliSafe and SodaStream. The site has launched more than 2,500 consumer products and amassed a community of more than 3 million early adopters and supporters.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Under the arrangement, Ace Hardware will be the controlling owner of The Grommet, but company founders Joanne Domeniconi and Jules Pieri and their employees will continue to have some equity ownership of the company.
Ace intends to provide considerable autonomy to The Grommet and has no plans to change the company's strategic direction.
"We both stand as strong advocates for the underdog. From the very beginning we have appreciated our alignment in support for and advancement of the independent maker," said John Venhuizen Ace Hardware president and CEO. "Under Ace's ownership, I believe The Grommet can offer our customers more of that which fuels global economies and makes America special -- the unbridled creativity of the local entrepreneur."
Ace Hardware and The Grommet first began working together in 2016 as part of a collaboration to bring new, unique and otherwise undiscovered products from independent makers into select Ace stores.
"The Grommet has often been called a 'general store for innovation,' and Ace is a trusted destination for the goods and services homeowners need to take care of their homes. That is a powerful combination," said The Grommet's Pieri. "Both companies have a deep heritage of helping local businesses thrive so our values are uncannily compatible."