Hardware Store All-Stars: Fla., Ala. and Miss.

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm and ranch retailers who made the annual HCN Hardware Store All-Star list.

Now in its third year, HCN's annual list of high performers recognizes hardware stores -- one from each state -- that are outstanding in their field. The complete list and analysis can be found in the September issue of HCN. Meanwhile, HCN Daily will work its way across the country with mini profiles, continuing this week with Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Florida: A helpful staff with a stellar sense of humor is but a feather in the cap for Halls Ace Hardware & Lumber, which has all the trappings of a local favorite in Milton. As if it weren't enough that they can reliably find everything they need within the store's deceptively small confines, first-time customers also get a welcome package. This is as much a destination for the project-oriented as it is for the seeker of odds, ends and curiosities.

Alabama: Don't take our word for it that Montgomery's Dixie Pro Hardware is the stuff of award winners. It nabbed the 2012 PRO Retailer of the Year title for Birmingham-based distributor Long-Lewis Hardware Co., which recognizes the value of the store's marketing program and other distinguishing features. 

Mississippi: In some ways, Hernando's Complete Home Center is the stuff dreams are made of. Its owner was managing a lumberyard for another operation until he got to open up his own store, with the end product being a 12,000-sq.-ft. indoor LBM that's always got its light on for its customers. And when lights are off, a quirky Facebook account alerts the community when sleds, swimming pools and bistro sets go on sale.

Next week, HCN will highlight All-Stars in Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All-Stars, click here.

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