The 2012 list of Home Channel News Hardware Store All-Stars -- one from each state -- contains a great variety of businesses linked by a commitment to strong customer service and an innovative approach to retail.
The honorees from South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee reveal a wide range of products, services and store footprints. Gardening, housewares, live goods and even color-coordinated dish towels offer areas of competitive differentiation.
Central True Value
Moncks Corner, S.C.
At Central True Value Hardware, customers can learn the intricacies of many trade specialties, including gardening. At the store’s “Ask a Master Gardener” event, for example, customers bring in their weeds/plants for identification, have their soil sent off for testing and learn about worm composting. Central’s personal attention encompasses small home projects for DIYers to larger commercial projects for contractors.
Hogans Hardware Hank
A wide mix of customers shop at Hogans Hardware Hank located in South Dakota’s capitol city of Pierre -- including former governor Bill Janklow. “Other than being a complete hardware store, we offer a lot of specialty kitchen products,” said store owner Cash Hogan. The 5,500 sq.-ft. store opened in 1983 and prides itself on its willingness to mix up its products. A recent success: dish towels. “They were fancy and color-coordinated. And they were huge,” Hogan said.
Ace Tom Glenn
Ace Tom Glenn has 17 hardware locations in Tennessee and north Georgia, but no two are exactly alike, said marketing manager John Rutter. “Each store has its own character, its own culture.” The flagship store in Chattanooga includes niche items only found here, as well as a Live Goods area with a vast selection of annuals and perennials indigenous to the area. “Whatever we do, we focus on doing it really well,” Rutter said.