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Valley News Dispatch

Ace Hardware 'store within a store' in Allegheny Township opens with unique display

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Thursday, July 19, 2018, 3:45 p.m.

It wasn’t your traditional store debut. This one had a chainsaw.

The sound of metal teeth cutting through a wooden 2-by-8 marked the grand opening Thursday of the new Ace Hardware store inside the Giant Eagle in Allegheny Towne Center in Allegheny Township.

It’s something one Giant Eagle official said “just felt right.”

“I think it’s something that differentiates the hardware piece of operations from supermarket,” Giant Eagle spokeswoman Jannah Jablonowski said of the interesting festivity. “We just thought it was a fun way to bring that to life for the people that were going to be onsite.”

The Allegheny Township supermarket is one of four in Western Pennsylvania that has been chosen to house Ace Hardware stores. The first opened in North Huntingdon in June. The others in McIntyre Square in Ross and along Route 8 in Shaler will be added later this year.

Another store in Johnstown is also expected to open this year.

Giant Eagle spokesman Dan Donovan said the “store within a store” concept was created to bring services to people that may not have been available before and to give customers the opportunity to accomplish more errands under one roof.

“This is a unique opportunity to add a full-service hardware store within a supermarket,” Donovan said. “We are excited to increase our presence in the community and give customers a new, convenient way to shop.”

He said a variety of factors went into choosing where the hardware stores would go, including local need, the size of the supermarkets, and whether the locations would hinder business at standalone Ace stores.

Most of Ace’s 5,024 stores around the globe are independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. Giant Eagle has more than 400 stores throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, with annual sales of $8.9 billion.

The Ace inside the Allegheny Township store, has been open since July 9 and is roughly 5,600 square feet. It has a range of home improvement and outdoor living supplies such as grills, paint, tools, lawn mowers, chainsaws, pest control items, household cleaning supplies, batteries, light bulbs and air filters.

Allegheny Township Supervisor Kathy Starr ended up with poison ivy killer and gardening gloves after perusing the store Thursday morning.

She likes the concept and is amazed by the variety of products the store has to offer.

“(It’s) an excellent selection,” she said.

Vicki Queck of Gilpin came to Giant Eagle to do some grocery shopping, but said the Ace store caught her eye. She ended up picking up windshield washer fluid, lighters, and tools like sockets and ratchets.

“Hopefully, they might be some Christmas presents,” she said. “I didn’t come in for this … I saw all of this stuff outside and said, ‘Well, I’ll go there first and see what they have.’”

Thursday was Queck’s first time in the store. She said it was nice, but the concept is “definitely different.”

“Around here, we go to the hardware store for hardware,” she said. “This is a different concept. I guess we’ll see how it goes.”

In addition to the board cutting, the grand opening featured wood carving demonstrations by Bill Schaudt Wood Creations, based in Cranberry.

The festivities will continue through the weekend, with free children’s activities taking place in-store from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The store also offers specialty services such as paint mixing and key cutting. Customers will earn both Giant Eagle fuelperks! and Ace Rewards on all qualifying Ace purchases.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com, or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

Wood carver Bill Schaudt, 52, of Cranberry, works on a wood carving of a bear during the Ace Hardware grand opening in Allegheny Township on Thursday, July 19. The Ace store is located inside the Giant Eagle in Allegheny Towne Center.
Madasyn Czebiniak | Tribune Review
Wood carver Bill Schaudt, 52, of Cranberry, works on a wood carving of a bear during the Ace Hardware grand opening in Allegheny Township on Thursday, July 19. The Ace store is located inside the Giant Eagle in Allegheny Towne Center.
People gather in front of the Ace Hardware store inside the Giant Eagle in Allegheny Township before the grand opening ceremony Thursday, July 19, 2018.
Madasyn Czebiniak | Tribune Review
People gather in front of the Ace Hardware store inside the Giant Eagle in Allegheny Township before the grand opening ceremony Thursday, July 19, 2018.
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