Fifty winning retailers, state by state

Home Channel News selected 50 hardware stores -- one from each state -- for inclusion in the second annual Hardware Store All-Star list. The stores distinguish themselves with strong customer service, innovative approaches to retail, and a connection to community and customers.

The alphabetical listing of All-Star stores, one from each of the 50 U.S. states, continues here with Virginia and Washington:

West Virginia
Hardman Supply Co.
Spencer, W.Va.
All-Star patriotism is on display at this six-unit Do it Best dealer. When callers are on hold, owner Tom Hardman introduces himself with a taped message that promotes a retail crusade in support of U.S.-manufactured products. “At Hardman’s, we want to help put America back to work,” he says. “Not all the products we stock are made in the USA, but there are a lot that are.” Made-in-USA signage and stickers helps customers find them.

Prairie Side True Value
Kenosha, Wis.
After 25 years as a manufacturing engineer, Gary Dickes “retired” to Kenosha, Wis., in 2009 and opened a hardware store not far from Menards. “We have ways to compete,” he said, knowingly. Being located next to a busy Walgreens helps. And the entire storefront is glass. “At night, with the lights on, you can see all the way through the store,” Dickes said.

Ace Hardware Buffalo
Buffalo, Wyo.
Owner Bob Zimmerschied said Ace Hardware Buffalo is just as interested in locating the correct “20-cent screw” for a customer as it is in making the big-ticket sale. “We concentrate on our core competencies, of matching the right product to the right application,” he said. “We’re the link between manufacturer, distributor and customer. We seek ‘absolute-zero connectivity,’ meaning no resistance from the customer.”

In the past two years, 100 hardware stores across the country have been selected as Hardware Store All-Stars by Home Channel News. For the 2011 list, click here.

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