The 2012 Home Chanel News Hardware Store All-Star list consists of 50 hardware stores that 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 below with Michigan, Minnesota and Mississippi:
Dickinson True Value
When a local high school athlete died of a heart attack after scoring a winning basket in a game last year, an organization was formed to raise money for the purchase of Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs) for all youth athletic events. During the month of March, Dickinson True Value sold paper “hearts” for $1 apiece -- and then hung them in its front windows -- to benefit the Wes Leonard Heart Foundation.
The get-back-up-on-the-horse award goes to Wagner Hardware, which in 2011 suffered a collapsed roof as heavy snow accumulated in a storm. While closed for construction, the team at Wagner pushed resources into e-commerce, using a service garage that was spared damage. The new larger store opened in December. “It was a blessing in disguise,” said Matt Wagner. “We ended up with a bigger, better building. And the community support has been very strong.”
Hyde Brothers True Value
First established as a construction business in 1947, Hyde Brothers was known for decades as a hard-core, hardware store. But three years ago, the company transformed into a Destination True Value format, adding 12,500 sq. ft. of retail space. “We changed everything -- lighting, fixtures, flooring; we added new products geared to women,” said owner Ginger Johnson. The award-winning store has seen a spike in sales (28% increase) and in female shoppers (up 15%).