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 Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Vermont: There’s a Home Depot 22 miles in either direction of J & H Hardware Do it Best in Bellows Falls, Vt. But manager Jeremy Haskins is quick to point out his real competition: “Taxes.”
“We’re right on the border of New Hampshire, so our real competition is tax,” he told HCN, referring to his border state’s tax-free sales environment.
Haskins, who was a 2011 Young Retailer of the Year honoree from the National Retail Hardware Association, says the store’s focus is on service first, and product mix second. The store has grown from 3,400 sq. ft. to 12,000 over the past few years, and a healthy sporting goods department attracts footsteps.
“My goal is to allow you to walk in and get everything to do your project,” he said. “We have more than 3,000 loyalty card holders, and we’re even adding them in New Hampshire,” he said.
Maine: As if a 30% increase in sales weren't enough, the recent remodel at Ames True Value Hardware & Supply in Wiscasset helped owner Wayne Averill further tailor his offerings to meet the needs of the local farm & ranch community. Of course, promising numbers aren't the only thing that sends this location to the all-star ranks: Averill is an active community member who sponsors the Sheepscot Valley Family Festival, and he's got a relatively large social media following thanks to his savvy use of the internet.
New Hampshire: Billed as the place that has everything you need, Goffstown Ace Hardware (in Goffstown, N.H.) combines market knowledge with a personable flair. If you're on Facebook, you can follow the antics of store employees and rack up inspiration for seasonally appropriate DIY projects. Bonus points for getting involved with PutnamFuel's More Energy for Family Moments outreach campaign, which invests in the Salvation Army as well as the surrounding community.
For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.