Fifty winning retailers, state by state

It takes a little more to be an all-star on the 2012 Home Channel News Hardware Store All-Star list. For the second year in a row, HCN has compiled a state-by-state list of high performers, innovative retailers and classic stores.

The alphabetical listing of Hardware Store All-Stars, one from each of the 50 U.S. states, continues below with Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana:

Williams Ace Hardware
Wichita, Kan.
“If we don’t have it, you don’t need it,” co-owner Nick Dondlinger is fond of saying. Customers come here seeking unusual hardware items or very small quantities. “What we lack in quantity we make up for in variety,” he said. By the store’s estimates, it has given away hundreds of pounds of nails over the years to customers who need a handful for small projects, but don’t need an entire box.

Chevy Chase Hardware
Lexington, Ky.
A quarter-century as the trusted local hardware store almost went poof for Bill and Carol Edwards when Home Depot and Lowe’s opened home centers four traffic lights down the road in a manner of months. “We could have handled one, but not both,” Bill Edwards said. “So we moved.” Twelve years later, Chevy Chase is flourishing in its new digs. One customer blogged: “No finer neighborhood hardware store can -- nor will ever -- be found than Chevy Chase Hardware.”

Stine Lumber
Sulphur, La.
With six sons to help run the business, the Stine Lumber Co. never worried about succession issues. But the 12-unit chain of home centers -- “everything for your home and yard” -- still had to face warehouse competition in many of its markets. Its solution: build big. Its average store is 60,000 sq. ft., and the newest location is 80,000 sq. ft., with an attached 40,000-sq.-ft. lumberyard and 20,000-sq.-ft. garden center.

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