Ace, Kroger in partnership talks

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Ace Hardware is in talks with general merchandiser Kroger with a view to setting up Ace kiosks within Kroger stores, a source told TheStreet.com. The “store-within-a-store” concept is familiar terrain for the hardware co-op, which has promoted them in supermarkets, and paint retailers such as Benjamin Moore, since at least 2012. If it closes, the Kroger deal would be Ace’s largest such collaboration to date, according to TheStreet’s source.