November 7, 2017
Updated 5mo ago
John Venhuizen, President and CEO of Ace Hardware, and Jules Pieri, CEO and Co-founder of e-commerce start-up The Grommet, discuss the majority stake the hardware company recently took in the website. John notes that the reason the partnership was a good idea for Ace is each company's passion for local businesses. The Grommet has launched successful companies like Otterbox, SodaStream, and Fitbit on its platform, and the goal of its deal with Ace is to expand to a larger audience and grow its base of 3 million subscribers, according to Jules. Selected products from The Grommet will be sold in-store and online at Ace Hardware locations across the U.S. We speak with Jules about The Grommet's emphasis on "The Makers" of its site, noting that there seems to be a rise in interest of locally-sourced products. Jules notes that she believes this is because people have a natural drive to create, and that technology has allowed us to do things we have never done before. John adds that a huge part of the business model at The Grommet is to differentiate itself from other businesses. He says his company's majority stake in the start-up will make that even more possible at every location.