Ace Hardware is a subsidiary location of the hardware store chain, Ace Hardware Corporation. What began as a small chain of stores established by a group of Chicago-area retailers in 1924 has evolved into one of the United States leading helpful hardware dealer-owned cooperatives. Throughout the course of its more than 80 years in business, Ace Hardware has grown from a few Chicago-area hardware stores to include more than 4,700 stores in all 50 states and approximately 70 countries. In 2003, the company surpassed $3 billion in hardline sales and nearly $100 million in net profits. Annual retail sales for Ace s hardware, home center, and lumber and building materials locations top $13 billion. Ace Hardware Corporation is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill. Ace Hardware maintains a location in Loxley, Ala.