New owner, new (old) manager, new store layout!

Things are both old and new at Sleepy Eye Ace Hardware, since the store was sold by Russ and Ann McCabe last September.

Ownership is new — the store was purchased by Mike Wieboldt, who owns 10 other Ace Hardware stores, including in Waseca, several in northern Minnesota, and stores in South and North Dakota and Montana.

Management of the store is new. Or maybe you’d say it is old. Wieboldt hired Matt Dauer as store manager for his new store. Dauer came with years of experience, as he held the position for the McCabes, but had been at another job for a year and a half. Dauer is happy to be back in Sleepy Eye, serving old and new customers.

The good “Ace” service that local customer came to know, is still a number one concern of Dauer and his staff.

The store itself? That’s almost completely new. Asked what is new and what was moved around, Dauer said, “We have a larger selection in every department and everything moved.”

Evident as soon as you walk in the store, the sales counter has moved to the west front wall. Seasonal items, like lawn furniture and grills now, are on display just inside the door. The paint service counter is a prominent fixture in the center of the store.

Dauer said the floor plan for merchandise placement came from Ace. Another change is the color of the walls. The upper side walls are a muted shade of orange and the other walls are painted a light tan.

The paint department carries a new product. “We have Benjamin Moore paints now, rather than Valspar,” said Dauer. “We also still have the brands our customers know — Royal and Clark+Kensington. We can match any color paint.”

Another new product line for Sleepy Eye Ace Hardware is Milwaukee Tools. “We added Milwaukee Tools to our tool department,” said Dauer. “We probably have the best selection of anyone around.”

Later this spring, the store will have a new line of battery-powered equipment, the EGO brand, which features industry-leading ARC Lithium™ battery technology. Dauer said they have a couple lawnmowers in stock already. The line will include law mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, and even snowblowers (coming next fall.)

The seasonal display inside the front door features Ace’s line up of grills and smokers, including Weber’s brand new Smokefire. “Smokers are becoming a favorite for grills,” Dauer said. The store also carries grills and smokers by Traeger, Big Green Egg, Louisiana, and Oklahoma Joe.

Recent spring-like weather may have you thinking about your garden. Sleepy Eye Ace Hardware will have flowers arriving to their garden center the week of April 15.

“We are having a Grand Re-Opening on Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18,” said Dauer. “We’ll have a 50% off tool sale, door busters, and a grill out with Big Green Egg and Traeger.”

The staff at Sleepy Eye Ace Hardware is ready and eager to serve customers this busy spring and summer season.