Ace Hardware Corp. has signed a letter of intent with Hardware Enterprises de Mexico, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Commercial Mexicana de Pinturas (COMEX), to establish a strategic alliance in the Mexican hardware market. COMEX is the largest paint manufacturer in Mexico. Hardware Enterprises de Mexico has a retail format, Practico Home Center, which was created in 1996. Ace contends the agreement will reinforce its strong presence in Mexico. Ace opened its first store in Mexico in 1990, and today has 28 retailers operating 84 retail outlets/points of sale in the market. As part of the agreement, Ace will retrofit Practico Home Center’s 30 existing stores with Ace retail formats and incorporate Ace retail initiatives for the stores in and around Mexico City. The existing Ace retailers in Mexico will have the opportunity to source locally manufactured products through Practico.