Buying a Hardware Store – How to Find the Best Opportunities

Dec 22, 2015

Every entrepreneur has his or her “dream business”; the one that they’ve imagined themselves doing since they were very young.  While finding the perfect way to get started with this business may not come until later in life, the opportunity may be closer than you think.  If you’re someone who has always dreamed of buying a hardware store and being an important part of your local community, then it is now easier than ever to find that opportunity.

Virtually every household in America visits a hardware store at least once a year.  Whether they are looking for the exact-sized bolt or an odd-sized fastener, the public has come to expect that hardware stores are run by knowledgeable owner/operators who can give them advice about almost any household project. 

Helping customers with their projects can be very rewarding. Hardware stores are also great family businesses. They typically get passed down generation after generation. Do-it-yourself hardware stores offer service and convenience. Retail stores with co-op models like Ace Hardware offer training, shared innovations, marketing muscle, state-of-the-art technology, financing opportunities and the strength of almost 5,000 locations. Co-op/franchise branded hardware stores demand a higher multiple when sold.

The hardware store industry is picking up steam and heading toward pre-recessionary highs. Over the last five years, industry revenue has increased at an average annual rate of 3.2% to $22.6 billion. Low disposable income, homeownership rates and low home-improvement spending have hampered revenue growth. These drivers have picked up significantly, especially since 2012, when signs of recovery began to show. Continued recovery and increases in these drivers are expected to help industry revenue and the next few years should see stable industry growth at about 3% per year.

The best candidates for buying a hardware store are usually people who have worked as a contractor or experienced DIY’s who know home improvements inside and out.  If you are interested in buying an existing business to become an owner/operator, you can either hire a business broker or look online for local opportunities.  When it comes to local hardware stores, the best businesses to buy are often franchises such as Ace or True Value.  What is nice about these franchises is they are not quite as rigid with franchise operations as some other franchise systems.

If you are lucky enough to buy a hardware store that is a unique single-location business, then you may be able to get into this business without being a part of a franchise, but hardware store franchises can have their advantages too.  These include collective buying power, name recognition, marketing, training and other support services.

For the best business opportunities in your area, or to find businesses for sale by category, the easiest way to search is by visiting a Business for Sale by Owner directory.  At you will find all the resources you need for buying a hardware store.