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ACE Is The Place

Husband and wife team Shannon and Landon Barker, owners of the Leland Ace Hardware, recently opened a second location in Southport. We spoke to Landon about both locations and what it’s like being “the helpful hardware folks.”

1. You just opened in Southport; how long have you been open in Leland? Where do you and Shannon live?

Shannon and I opened up Leland Ace Hardware January 2, 2011 So this is our 9th year running the store. We live right in downtown Wilmington so we love that we can go right over the bridge and be at both stores.

2. How is business going for both locations? How many employees are at each?

We are still in the early stages for Southport but we feel so far so good. Currently we have 10 employees in Leland and 6 in Southport. A few of our staff members will go between stores.

3. I understand these are franchises; can you explain a bit about how that works? How does the parent company support your operation?

Ace Hardware is a franchise but it is also a cooperative. Ace retailers are the owners of the corporation and can customize offerings based on customer needs. Owners reap the benefits of a global brand with collective buying power with independent ownership. Retailers pay no royalty fees and a portion of the profits get distributed back to them each year.

4. We all love a good hardware store and Ace is the place “with the helpful hardware folks.” I love how they changed the slogan to include us ladies. How would you describe Ace’s approach to helping their customers?

Ace knows that our customers have a choice and they come to our stores to get the help they need on our products and projects. We want to get you everything you need to get your project done so we try to ask you questions so you can walk out with everything you need. If we don’t have it, we want to get you to the right place that does. Shannon and I have a slogan we put on our shirts that says “Going the Extra Mile” -something we strive to have our staff do for each customer walking in the door.

5. What is your background; is this a new industry for you?

Shannon has been in the hardware business since he was 22 years old; this is his expertise. He helped start the store in Leland for the previous owner - BAME ACE HARDWARE - back in 1999. I have grown up in the residential construction business my whole life so my knowledge of building goes hand in hand with home improvement

6. Do you have plans to be involved in any community events or causes in either location?

Yes, with having two kids of our own we are very active in our community schools. We are booster club members for local sports. We support our Chambers as well and sponsor events that give back to our community. We are proud of both our locations and we want to give back.

7. Spring is here and we all love to get into the gardening mode when the weather turns nice. Do you have any advice for sprucing up our yards? Any particular products you recommend?

Fertilizer and weed control seem to be the main items that come up at springtime for lawns. Southeast North Carolina has a variety of species that grow, so it’s important to understand what you have in your yard so we have the right ingredients to get your lawns looking nice. Not to mention items to help with insects and moles and wildlife that like to eat everything. Grills are an important outdoor appliance - we have an amazing selection of Weber Grills, Traeger, Green Egg and accessories perfect for summer in NC!

Leland ACE Hardware

117B Village Rd (behind the BB&T)

Hours: M-F 7;30 am-6 pm, Sat 8 am-4 pm, Sun 12 pm-4 pm

(910) 383-6688

Southport ACE Hardware

8848 River Rd

Hours: M-F 7:30 am- 6 pm, Sat 8 am-4 pm, Sun 12 pm-4 pm

(910) 477-6444

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