Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware is one of more than 250 retailers, developers, vendors and retail real estate brokers scheduled to attend the second annual Mid-South Fall Retailer Kickoff at Harrah’s Tunica in Tunica, Miss., Sept. 10 and 11.
Last year, more than 300 local, regional and national retailers, developers, brokers and public officials attended the regional networking event, according to the Kickoff Web site.
Ace Hardware confirmed recently that Memphis is one of several areas the co-op is looking to penetrate. In fact, Germantown, Tenn.-based Trezevant Realty, one of the sponsors of the Kickoff, has announced plans to open 15 new Ace stores in the greater Memphis area in the next 18 to 24 months.
“That’s a real conservative estimate. It could be within a year,” said Barry Maynard, an affiliate broker with Trezevant.
Maynard said Ace is trying to establish a presence from northeast Arkansas to western Tennessee, one of the only areas left in the United States without an Ace footprint.
“You’ve got 40 to 50 submarkets outside Memphis and going toward Nashville,” he said. “None of them have huge populations, but they draw from large areas, and there’s a demand and a need for hardware stores.”
The new Ace stores would range from around 11,500 square feet to 70, 000 square feet, with some of the larger ones being established in former Kroger and Winn Dixie supermarket spaces, Maynard said.