Hardware Store All-Stars: N.D., S.D. and Minn.

Farm and ranch sales figure prominently in the Dakotas

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm & 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 North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

North Dakota: How often do you see a hardware store offering veterinary services? Stockmen's Supply in West Fargo has been supplying animal health products since 1956, expanding its selection over time to include livestock supplies, animal feed and a farm & home section with the requisite hardware fixings. For the surrounding farm & ranch community, Stockmen's meets the need for a one-stop shop that'll hand you your shovel, stock your hay supply and get your horses their shots.

South Dakota: Being all things to all people is a task well-handled by Runnings, which has multiple locations in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana. It began as an automotive supply store in 1947 and evolved into a hub for farm & ranch, hunting equipment, housewares, clothing, lawn & garden, pet supplies, guns, sporting goods and standard hardware offerings. Reportedly, at least one of their stores supplies liquor as well.

Minnesota: Frattalone's Ace Hardware has an extensive presence throughout the Twin Cities metro area, but its Hennepin Ave location in Uptown Minneapolis appears to have a bit of a cult following. Rave reviews of the store's above-and-beyond customer service paint a portrait of a friendly, helpful staff who's always there to walk you to the correct aisle, help you cool down on a hot day, hold your hand as you jump over a puddle, or cut open that stubborn packaging for you after you've made your purchase.

Next week, HCN will highlight All-Stars in Nebraska, Kansa and Iowa. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.

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