Bob and Donna King, owners of Seaboard Ace Hardware near downtown Raleigh, have agreed to sell their store to Westlake Ace Hardware, the largest Ace dealer in the United States.
The Kings opened Seaboard Ace in 2006 after 30 years working in Triangle real estate. “It was a start-up for us,” King said about the decision to go into retail. “We just felt like we wanted something to do long term that would last us into our retirement age.”
When the couple decided it was finally time to retire, other people were interested in buying the store, but King said he liked Westlake because it will keep the business the same. “It will be run just like it has been run for the past 11 years,” he said.
Westlake Ace Hardware will be keeping all the same employees, King said. And it will continue selling the same products – traditional hardware like fasteners, tools, plumbing and electrical supplies, as well as grills and barbecue equipment. The only difference, King says, is that there will be more inventory.
“A small mom-and-pop shop can’t handle sitting on a lot of inventory, but they have the resources to keep the shelves full at all times,” he said. And just like Seaboard, King said, Westlake will be open to suggestions for products to stock.
Westlake Ace Hardware has been in operation for more than 100 years and has 108 hardware stores across the country, including nine in North Carolina. In 2016, Westlake acquired Ace Hardware stores at North Ridge Shopping Center and at Falls River Shopping Center in Raleigh.
The purchase of Seaboard Ace should be complete on Feb. 19, and King will be staying on a few months to help with the transition.
But after that, King said the couple plan to do some traveling – “We have grand children all over the country.”