Old Ace Hardware likely to become new Ace Hardware in Palatine
Another Ace Hardware is expected to replace a franchise operated by a different ownership group that's going out of business at Palatine Plaza.
Highland Park-based Mutual Ace Hardware is acquiring the store, then plans to fully stock it and reopen in the same space, according to company officials. Inventory is being liquidated at the longtime Ace on Northwest Highway near Hicks Road.
Steven Gould, general manager of parent company Mutual Services Inc. and its Highland Park Ace on Route 41, said the Palatine store could reopen under the new ownership in early April. He said Mutual Services began selling coal in 1917 and shifted into other businesses before getting into hardware in the 1940s.
Palatine village council members Monday night approved a request from Mutual to exceed the permitted square footage for signs on the Ace space, in part to display logos from one major brand on the main facade and three others on the lower wall that will be available in the store.
Gould said having Stihl Inc. products for sale will be one difference with Mutual Ace Hardware compared to the franchise that's closing in Palatine Plaza. Stihl manufactures the top-selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in the United States.
"In our business model we are looking at, that's probably going to be a quarter of the increase in store sales that we're planning on for that store," Gould said of Stihl.
Palatine Councilman Tim Millar was the objector in the 4-1 vote in favor of allowing Mutual Ace Hardware to have more sign space. Millar said while he supports the new Ace, he was concerned about the building's appearance with the Stihl logo on the main facade near the business' name.
"I'd feel more comfortable with the Stihl sign being down with the others," Millar said. "It really doesn't match with everything else. I don't think we want to see a store that sells 50 different items putting logos up for all the items that they carry."
Most of Ace's 5,000 stores are independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs, according to the company. Ace Hardware has been an anchor tenant of Palatine Plaza since it was built in the 1960s.