http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/05/29/ace-will-be-the-place-in-alamo


DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - May 29, 2009

Ace will be the place in Alamo

National chain is coming to Yardbirds site

by Geoff Gillette

Months after the doors closed on Yardbirds in Alamo, a new hardware chain will be taking up residence in the shuttered facility. Ace Hardware will be taking over the Yardbirds site on Danville Boulevard, and shoppers will be able to start coming back as soon as mid-June.

"Our family has decided to move ahead with the Ace organization," said Christopher Kretz, whose family is behind the new project. The Kretz family will act as owner/operators of the Ace store. Kretz said they had been in contact with other vendors and had done some research before deciding to go with Ace.

The current plan is for the 10,000-square-foot garden center to open around June 15.

"There are a number of variables that have to be met," Kretz said, "but we're shooting for June 15."

The Kretzes are hoping to open the 27,000-square-foot main facility in August.

Kretz said they ended up choosing Ace for a few reasons.

"The community seemed to embrace that brand and they've been ranked among the top six or seven national franchises over the last few years," he said.

He added that Ace's flexible stocking policy will let them provide goods to customers that may not be part of the Ace brand.

"That's the beauty of Ace," he enthused. "You don't have to buy 100 percent of your product from them. You can mix and match."

That seems to be indicative of how Kretz feels the store will be run, aiming at what the community is going to want and trying to fill that niche in Alamo.

"We've retained three people from the Yardbirds' days. These three people who are helping us open up the store go back 10 to 15 years. Although it will be an Ace, we'll completely eliminate the feel of Home Depot," he explained. He added that besides the three hired to start the store back up, nearly half of the store's 40 employees will be made up of former Yardbirds personnel.

Kretz said he feels having that familiarity with the community, coupled with the ability to tailor their stock to the people who come into the store, will make the new venture a big hit.

"Everybody's going to be really excited when they come in. If there's a need for something, we'll fill it. I think you're going to find we're a lot more in tune with the community than back in the Yardbirds days," Kretz said.

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