Opened in 1921, the Bates Hardware and Grocery store stood at the corner of Howell Mill Road and Defoors Ferry. In 1961 Mr. Bates became affiliated with Ace Hardware. In 1973, the Doss family bought the store from the Bates family who had decided to retire from the business.
The store was truly a family business for David Doss. All of David's children worked at the store while going to school. His son, Wade, began working part time in 1972 and full time in 1977 while working his way through college. In 1982, Wade graduated from Georgia State with a BBA in Management. In the early eighties, Wade implemented a computer system to keep track of inventory and sales. To this day, the store has remained on the cutting edge of technology in the hardware industry.
In 1993, with the lease running out on the store, the Doss family had to make a decision on the future of the store. This was a time when the warehouse retailers had become predominant in the Atlanta market and it was becoming tougher for the small 'mom and pop' stores to compete. To face this increasing competition, the Doss's took a bold step and moved the store across the street into a brand new 22,000 square foot facility
built to their exact specifications. This new building includes a 12,000 sq. ft. showroom and a 1,000 sq. ft. lawn and garden center
. The new lawn and garden center has allowed them to devote space to a live plant nursery and bag goods such as fertilizer and potting soil. In 2002, a 1000 sq. ft. climate controlled greenhouse
was added to better serve the customer's needs through out the year.
Many naysayers shook their heads in disbelief that the store could not only compete, but even thrive, in the ultra competitive Atlanta market. But, for the Doss's, the answer was quite simple. Focus on the needs of the customer
. Please them not only with the lowest price, but with the best service
, and they will keep coming back.
David's daughter, Amy, also worked part time while in school. She added a gift section
to the store to broaden the store's appeal. The section includes unique gift items, home decor, and outdoor decor. Amy elected to leave the family business in 2001 to pursue other interest. The departments that she added continue to grow even today.
The store has won numerous commendations from national Ace
. In 1995, Bates Ace was named a 'Six-Star' winner, meaning the best Ace Hardware in it's region (East)
. In 1997 and 1999, the store received the honor yet again. Bates Ace received Home Center News, 2011 50 State All-Star award for the state of Georgia
. In 2012 Bates Ace received the Ace 5 Star Platinum award for being a top performing store
. Without a doubt, Bates Ace is continually striving to be the best.