America’s Favorite Home Improvement Store Offers Great Service and Savings

The most beloved hardware store chain is neither of the industry's two titans. And you're missing out if you're not shopping at this smaller competitor.

America’s Favorite Home Improvement Store Offers Great Service and Savings Photo by Stocked House Studio /

The Home Depot and Lowe’s might be the largest home improvement retailers in America, but neither is the favorite of consumers.

That honor goes to a smaller chain, Ace Hardware. For the 11th consecutive year, Ace ranked No. 1 in J.D. Power’s latest annual Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study.

The 2017 study was based on a survey of more than 2,700 customers who had purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer in the prior year.

Another smaller chain, Menards, ranked No. 2 this year.

Lowe’s and the Home Depot came in at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, out of the six chains in J.D. Power’s study:

  1. Ace Hardware: Overall customer satisfaction score of 835 out of 1,000 points
  2. Menards: 824
  3. Lowe’s: 817
  4. Home Depot: 812
  5. True Value: 810
  6. Sears: 803

The average overall customer satisfaction score this year was 816.

The Home Depot and Lowe’s are so big that they’re among the 10 largest retailers of any kind in the U.S., according to the National Retail Federation’s rankings, which are based on sales. Home Depot ranks at No. 4, and Lowe’s comes in at No. 10. By comparison, Ace Hardware ranks No. 30 based on sales and Menards, located primarily in the Midwest, ranks No. 45.

Ace Hardware nails customer service

J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction scores are based on five factors:

  • Merchandise
  • Price
  • Sales and promotions
  • Staff and service
  • Store facility

Ace Hardware scored well above the study average for staff and service (53 points above average) and store facility (16 points above average). J.D. Power attributes this to the availability and knowledge of sales staff, and the availability of desired merchandise and product information.

Saving money at Ace Hardware

If you love Ace Hardware, know that there are plenty of ways to get additional store savings.

Ace was the only home improvement retailer that made it into our recent story “13 Stores That Offer Cash Back or Rewards on Every Purchase.” Here’s what the story had to say about Ace’s loyalty program, Ace Rewards:

“Sign up for Ace Rewards, and you’ll get 10 points for every dollar you spend. Accumulate 2,500 points, and you’ll earn a $10 reward. That’s the equivalent of saving 4 percent on every purchase.

You also receive 1,000 points just for signing up, plus coupons and sale reminders.”

If you don’t have an Ace in your neighborhood or prefer its larger competitors, check out “6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home Depot.”

What’s your favorite home improvement store? Let us know why — leave a comment below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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