State-by-state Hardware Store All-stars: Okla., Ore. and Pa.

The Home Channel News editorial project travels to Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania to report on hardware store high performers.

• Oklahoma
Pick a state in the south central United States, anywhere between California and Alabama, and Sutherlands is there. The company has a regional office in Jenks, Okla., and five stores throughout the state. The 94-year-old, family owned firm operates 56 locations in 13 states, and they range from small lumberyards to 140,000-sq.-ft. warehouse stores. Its 2010 split between DIY and contractor business is 70% to 30%, according to Chain Store Guide, a directory of home center operators and hardware stores. Sutherlands latest plans are to put a store in a former 90,000-sq.-ft. Walmart outside its headquarter city of Kansas City, Mo.

• Oregon
Jerry’s Home Improvement Center
In Eugene, Ore., Jerry’s is the kind of store that attracts tour groups — of other retailers. Not your father’s hardware store, Jerry’s won’t fit on most Main Streets — its original store in Eugene measures 360,000 sq. ft., including a drive-through lumberyard. But what Jerry’s is also famous for, among independents, is building its second, 135,000-sq.-ft. location in Springfield, Ore., at the same time Home Depot was pulling permits for one of its own big boxes, less than a mile away. The Home Depot never opened. 

• Pennsylvania
Roaring Spring True Value
Connecting with customers has helped make Roaring Spring a big-time success. Case in point: When it announced the hiring of sales associate Sally Rhodes on Facebook, exactly one minute later, a customer/fan responded: “I love Sally Rhodes!! She’s the best.” It is that kind of love that makes this “department store” something special. Doug Mapes, another customer, wrote: “What can I say that hasn’t already been said. There is no store that I know of that offers a more friendly atmosphere than here. I wish you could can that charm.”

HCN Thursday will profile all-star hardware stores in Rhode Island, South Carolina and South Dakota. For the full article from the May issue of Home Channel News, register or log in here.

Recommended stories

Login or Register to post a comment.