Ace Hardware, a US-based home improvement retailer, plans to expand its retail presence across the country.

As part of the expansion, the retailer will open 170 stores in the US in 2012, reported Chain Store Age.

ACE Hardware retail development director Mike Berschauer said the move follows the company’s successful second quarter stores activations and conversions.

“After a prosperous second quarter focused on store activations and conversions, Ace is on-track to achieve its goal of opening 170 new domestic stores in 2012,” Berschauer said.

“Our aggressive, long-term growth strategy features a total package of resources and support to ensure a successful future for our retailers.”

During the first quarter, the retailer opened 30 stores and 36 stores were opened in the second quarter for a total of 66 new activations year to date.

According to the company, these store openings are attributed to the launch of the Ace Hardware ‘Express’ format.

Occupying 5,000ft² of retail space, the ‘Express’ format stores are currently located across seven states in the US including California, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

Founded in 1924, Ace Hardware currently operates 4,400 across the country.