Ace Hardware on Tuesday announced an “Extra Mile Promise” — a guarantee at participating stores nationwide that the retailer “has the expert advice and supplies needed to help consumers successfully tackle any paint project with just one trip to the store,” according to a press release.
The guarantee was created to address shoppers’ frustration over having to make extra trips to the store because they forget items or need more paint. If one trip doesn’t suffice, the retailer will provide free delivery of additional paint supplies, the company said.
The new guarantee applies to all brands of paint and paint supplies available at Ace, and is only applicable with the original receipt showing the purchase of at minimum one gallon of paint.
For decades Ace Hardware has branded itself as not just a retailer selling supplies but one with helpful staff. Its “helpful hardware man” was retired in 2006 for a more gender-neutral tagline, but the idea remains.
With its free delivery pledge for anyone who may not be helped quite enough to avoid multiple store trips, the retailer has quite ingeniously worked it out so that people go to the store, but enjoy delivery if they didn’t accomplish what they needed in that visit. It relieves a pain point and protects store traffic while providing added services — a twist on the omnichannel balance so many retailers are after.
"While it hurt our pride to learn this, the truth is that while consumers trust Ace as the Helpful Place, far too many of them believed that our speedy sized stores didn't have enough product to complete their paint project," Ace Hardware CEO John Venhuizen said in a statement. "We know this isn't the case, so to assuage these misperceptions, we decided to stand behind our large paint assortment with the Extra Mile Promise. Our objective is simple: to be known as the #1, best, most convenient, most helpful and most credible store for paint in the neighborhood."
The company’s service stance has paid off over the years: The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study ranked Ace "Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retail Stores" for the eleventh straight year in a row, according to a press release.