Hardware Store All-Stars: Maryland, Delaware and Virginia

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 Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

Maryland: Dunkirk Do it Best Hardware & Home Center has the kind of competitive advantage many mom-and-pops would kill for: It exists in a big-box-free region due to county zoning ordinances that preclude large national retailers from setting up shop. In a sense, that lets owners Jim and Ashley Weaver off the hook a little, but they manage to step up to the plate with an extensive, comprehensive product offering to rival that of any sprawling home center, spanning 19,500 sq. ft. With customers finally getting their needs met, the store realized $100,000 in sales its opening weekend -- allowing the Weavers to open two other locations.

Delaware: If there were ever a case for patronizing independents, Fairfax Hardware in Wilmington certainly builds a strong one. Many of its loyal customers shop there on principle thanks to stellar customer service (and staff wearing ties!), even if the big-box down the road carries a minor discount. The independent, family-owned business is one of the only stores of its kind in the area, and having been around since the Fairfax community was built, it's said to actually carry many original parts and hardware from that era. 

Virginia: Randy's Do it Best Hardware now prides itself on its three locations throughout the state of Virginia, but the business owes a lot of its success to its savvy use of social media (that's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). Such is the level of engagement with its community that a special deal announced on Facebook will get customers driving in from reaches far and wide. To demonstrate its appreciation, Randy's sports a colorful mural of the town on the street side of its building.

For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.

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