Hardware Store All-Stars: Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana

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 Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Missouri: Oak Hill Hardware & Paint Company is an uncontested favorite in the St. Louis community -- big-store comprehensiveness in a small-store format helped it become Riverfront Times' Best Hardware Store of 2012. It certainly fits the bill for All-Star-level customer service, and it's been helping the community find the things they didn't realize they needed since 1931.

Arkansas: Hilltop Ace Hardware in Jonesboro is certainly more accessible than the competing Lowe's, but it comes out on top for reasons other than having what the community needs -- which certainly helps its case. It's having what the community needs while successfully filtering out all the useless filler that it doesn't. The result is a friendly, neighborhood hardware store that's easy to navigate and knows you well.

Louisiana: When Denney Braswell of Budget Build Home Center True Value decided to revamp his 15-year-old business, he went with the Destination True Value format that's worked its charm on so many other businesses. Also working in the favor of the Ferriday, La., store is its new-and-improved paint display and lawn and garden section -- the former of which saw tripled sales in the past year. Extra points are awarded for a social media campaign that includes the creation of a viral YouTube video of store employees swatting at mosquitos.

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

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