The Grommet is an e-commerce site for new product designers; it helped launch consumer favorites FitBit, OtterBox and SodaStream.
Ace Hardware, a cooperative chain with more than 5,000 stores worldwide, has taken a majority stake in the company — its first acquisition outside of retail hardware.
The Grommet places some of its featured products in 400 Ace stores and with the deal eventually plans to expand to all Ace outlets.
“Under Ace’s ownership, I believe The Grommet can offer our customers more of that which fuels global economies and makes America special — the unbridled creativity of the local entrepreneur,” Ace’s CEO John Venhuizen said.
Ace purchased the stake from Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce company. Terms weren’t disclosed.