PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For nearly 100 years, neighborhoods have known the place with the helpful hardware folks, in 4,800 stores and a decades-old jingle familiar to all.
Jingle: “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man.”
Now, Giant Eagle has cut a deal with Ace to offer some hardware products in selected supermarkets, beginning with four local Giant Eagles, including Allegheny Towne Center in Leechburg, Irwin, McIntyre Square in Ross, and Shaler.
In a short statement, Giant Eagle offered few details, but noted, “It is imperative that we at Giant Eagle continue to innovate both within and outside of our supermarkets to succeed in our increasingly competitive food retail environment.”
Giant Eagle would not appear on camera, saying it was too early in their arrangement with Ace to know even how much square footage would be devoted to hardware, or even what hardware products would be offered, or whether they would price those products below those at nearby Ace Hardware stores.
They did say they hope to have hardware products available by summer.
Local Ace Hardware stores hope the deal will help, in part, by building the Ace brand locally.
“Hopefully, they will bring us a little bit more customers. That would be cool,” Laurie Luitgaarden, who owns the Ace Hardware in Wexford, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
But there are concerns.
Luitgaarden says her store is about six miles north of the McIntyre Square Giant Eagle.
“We like to see — Ace usually likes to put their stores between six and so miles away,” she said. “We don’t want to be too close. Competition is great, but on top of each other is not so fun.”
And don’t look for any changes in the jingle.
Delano: “Giant Eagle is the place for the helpful hardware man?”
Luitgaarden: “Well, that would not make me happy.”
Giant Eagle customers at the McIntyre Square supermarket had mixed reactions.
“Oh, it’ll be very convenient not to go someplace else,” said Ben Monical, of Allison Park.
“No, it doesn’t fit. They should stay out of that business,” noted Beverly Rodriguez, of Ross.