Elder’s Ace Hardware is a family owned, locally run group of 20 neighborhood hardware stores that serve the East Tennessee and North Georgia regions. We’ve been part of many of these communities since 1969, and we are honored to be your neighbors . Today, you can find us in Chattanooga on Hwy. 58, Brainerd, East Ridge, Red Bank, Dallas Bay, East Brainerd, Broad Street, Walden and Ooltewah; in Cleveland on Peerless Ave.; in North Georgia in Lafayette, Ringgold, Chickamauga, and Rome; and in Knoxville on North Broadway, at Dixie Lee Junction, Halls, Bearden, South Knoxville, and Rocky Hill.
When you walk into our stores, our goal is to treat you as our guest and to provide the most helpful experience of any place you shop. We certainly aren’t perfect, but we constantly train our folks on how to provide you with this experience and we have ongoing conversations around that topic in each store almost daily. Many of our associates have been part of the Elder’s Ace Hardware family for more than 10 years (and some over 20, 30, or even 40 years!), and we believe the knowledge and experience that come with those years are important to our ability to create a shopping atmosphere centered around helping you. We encourage our people to use their judgment when helping you rather than using one-size-fits-all corporate policies.
Elder and three partners quietly opened our first store in 1969 “out in the country” just outside the city limits of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Born in North Georgia and living nearby in East Tennessee for the last 25 years of his life, Elder considered the North Georgia and East Tennessee community and region his family’s and business home. Since then, we’ve expanded our company to include 20 stores throughout the region we call home.
Elder served on the national board of directors of the Ace Hardware cooperative, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, in the early 80s. This experience coupled with his years on the sales floor, easy leadership style, and his genuine joy from being with Ace associates and customers modeled the culture and personality that permeates our business then and today. Today, Elder’s sons Tom Glenn, president of Elder’s Ace, and Grif Glenn, Vice President and Controller, carry on the legacy established several decades ago. We work hard every day to earn your trust and to be the most helpful place you shop.
Our mission is simple: We will be our community’s most helpful and trusted retail team by consistently pleasing each customer.
Helpfulness (Customer Service). Our entire business centers around helping you. We like to say, “When it comes to helpfulness (customer service) there are no policies!” What we mean is that we’ll do our best to be flexible and creative in helping you. We make decisions in the store and use our best judgment. We’re not a large international corporation that must rely on policies to guide its practices.
Our people. Our team is staffed with some of the most experienced, best trained hardware folks around. Our goal is to be the most helpful place you shop.
Our products. We stock virtually everything you need to maintain your home or business including those small, hard-to-find items; the largest selection of basics like nuts & bolts, air filters, keys, and pipe fittings; exclusive brands like Benjamin Moore Paints, Stihl outdoor power equipment, Craftsman tools, The Big Green Egg; locally manufactured products like bird feeders and houses and dog houses made by the local Goodwill, locally produced honey, Shruptrines relishes, Frost Cutlery knives, and many plants and vegetables. Plus, we’re always happy to special order products out of our 70,000 item warehouse or directly for Ace’s hundreds of vendors.
Our pricing. We’re competitively priced every day. Our 4,800-store buying power through Ace Hardware makes that possible.
In the early years our company had to focus on its survival, and we didn’t have the resources to help our communities. Through the years as we have been increasingly blessed with success, we have been able to look “beyond the four walls of the store” and give back in our respective communities. That giving back has taken the form of cash donations, merchandise donations, and volunteer service. Even though our larger cash donations are managed by a team, one of Elder’s roles that he retained even in the latter years of his life was taking the hundreds of phone calls annually asking for small donations to school groups, church events, community functions, etc. These were small gifts in the range of $10, $20 or maybe $50 at a time. Elder enjoyed helping folks, and he felt that it was a way he could serve our company.
Today we do what we can to support hundreds of organizations and events. And, our larger gifts are made through United Way in each community. We believe that United Way’s community-wide focus and support of many worthy organizations is the perfect avenue for much of our giving.