With the opening of a new location in the north the management of Ace Hardware Guam is looking to expand its services.

Mark C. Pangilinan manager of Ace Hardware Sinajana told the Journal “We’re always looking to add neighborhood convenience to our customers “My grandfather is known to say ‘My philosophy is keep it simple; if you find a need then fill it’.” [Marciano V. Pangilinan Sr. is founder of MVP Enterprises Inc. which includes Ace Hardware Guam.]

The new Ace Hardware expected to open before the end of 2006 will add to the existing three hardware retail stores in Anigua at 25 000 square feet Yigo at 18 000 square feet and Sinajana at 12 000 square feet comprising about 55 000 square feet of store space. The Helpful Hardware business within Ace also offers small engine repair and appliance repair to its customers. Pangilinan said there’s a possibility of opening another store in the south but it’s too early to provide any definite information as plans to open in the north are in the initial stage of discussion.

The Sinajana store manager says plans for new retail outlets have very little to do with the likeliness of a retail giant opening up on Guam. “There’s always rumor that big stores like Home Depot are going to open up on Guam ”he said “but until it happens … they’re just rumors.”

Ace Hardware is one of the nation’s leading “helpful hardware” dealer-owned cooperatives of about 4 800 stores in 50 states and territories and 72 countries. Despite giant superstores and home centers opening up near Ace Hardware chains the smaller Ace storeowners plan for the long-term with obsessive attention to detail Pangilinan said. He said for the past three years Fortune Magazine has named Ace Hardware one of America’s Most Admired Companies for braving the challenges of living in the shadow of retails giants.

“Ultimately if a larger retailer came historically Ace stores have flourished across the country. Guam’s hardware market of about four to five retailers is currently fairly competitive. A new business will affect all of us. Ace will continue to raise the bar as far as product assortment product quality and customer service.”

The businesses of M.V. Pangilinan Enterprises have survived natural disasters and economic challenges. Pangilinan said when Kmart Guam one of the world’s largest mass-merchandise retailers opened in Guam in 1995 many businesses were affected — from hardware stores to clothing shops. He said the Ace Hardware management and other smaller locally-owned businesses had several choices: raise the bar or close down. MVP also operated the Ben Franklin department store fronting Route 1 in Tamuning. A combination of factors played a role in the closure of Ben Franklin and other retail stores in the late ‘90s — the opening of K-mart a sluggish economy and the aftermath of Supertyphoon Paka in 1997.

The Ace Hardware stores are just one of a few businesses established by Pangilinan grandfather MVP also operates Ben Franklin Crafts Mark’s Sporting Goods and Mark’s Motor Co. Of the prospect of new competition from another retail giant Mark V. Pangilinan Sr.’s grandson said “We don’t lose sight of our founding principles of providing value and quality products and services to our customers at a competitive prices.” MBJ