FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2000

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


Paula K. Erickson
Ace Hardware Corporation
630-990-6744
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
ACE Hardware Locates in Prince George County
--Company will create 325 new jobs and invest $38.5 million- -


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced Ace Hardware Corporation, an international retailer-owned cooperative of 5,100 stores in 50 states and 65 countries, will locate a major distribution center in Prince George County. The company will invest $38.5 million in the new facility while creating an estimated 325 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed with Kentucky and North Carolina for the investment.

"Virginia's strategic East Coast location and dedicated workforce are key to the Commonwealth's success as a distribution hub," said Governor Gilmore. "I am confident our excellent transportation system will enable Ace Hardware to ship their products more efficiently."

Ground will be broken on the 155.4-acre site later this month for the new 778,000-sq. ft. center, with an official ground breaking ceremony scheduled in August. Upon completion, the retail support center (RSC) will be large enough to fit 16 football fields and will house approximately 60,000 stock keeping units (SKUs), estimated at $40 million, of inventory. It will begin shipping to more than 300 Ace stores in the Mid-Atlantic region in the fall of 2001.

"We have chosen Prince George County, Va., as the site for our latest retail support center because it is central to the areas that we will serve," said David F. Hodnik, Ace president and CEO. "With this expanded distribution capability, we'll be able to better serve our retailers in that region of the country, and in turn allow them to better serve their customers."

"Prince George County and Virginia will reap the rewards of this location decision," said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "We are honored to have Ace Hardware's newest distribution center here."

Governor Gilmore approved a $300,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Prince George County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Appomattox Basin Industrial Development Corporation and Prince George County assisted Ace Hardware with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

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