PRO Hardware retailer honored for commitment to community

The Erie Times-News, Time Warner Cable and other sponsors awarded Kraus Department Store, a PRO Hardware retailer in Erie, Pa., with the "2012 Commitment to Erie" award for businesses with fewer than 25 employees. 

The retailer was honored for its commitment to customers, the region and its employees. The store's slogan is, "If we don't have it, you don't need it."

Kraus, which was one of 115 nominees, has been in business for 126 years. It opened in 1886, one year before Sears.

Kraus Department Store's Lou Ann Nowosielski and her grandson Adam Nowosielski accepted the award during the ceremony at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie Sept. 19.

"We try to serve the people. You know that. We're proud of it," Lou Ann Nowosielski said while accepting the award. "And we're glad to have the people of Erie proud of us."

Located near the heart of downtown Erie, the fifth generation of the family-owned business is now involved. 

Kraus Department Store fills several niches to complement the fully stocked hardware store. It has developed a new Facebook page and created a new website, which will soon feature online ordering through PRO distributor, The Bostwick-Braun Co. 

Headquartered in Denver, PRO Group is a merchandising and marketing organization with purchasing power exceeding $3 billion through its 29 member distributors.

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