State-by-state Hardware Store All-stars: Tenn., Texas and Utah

The first-of-its-kind Home Channel News list of 50 hardware store all-stars appeared in the May issue of Home Channel News and recognized a diverse group of high-performance retailers -- large, small, urban and rural. Below, the state-by-state guide winds through Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Cole’s Home Solutions
A dramatic, one-of-a-kind home center and hardware store in Millington, Tenn., was built from the ground up to beat the big boxes and swing for the fences. Bathroom fixtures have running water, and an actual garage inside the store allows for product education; or better yet, just plain tinkering with the cool tools. With categories organized and displayed in vignettes and with a design heavily inspired by Bass Pro Shops and Cracker Barrel, plus a countertop luncheonette, the store has something for everyone.

• Texas
Price Hardware True Value
The Atlanta, Texas-based single-store operator in a town of 6,000 draws regularly from a 20-mile radius. Inside the 39,000-sq.-ft. store — which took on a Destination True Value format late last year — are classic assortments, plus co-owner Carol Price’s Kitchenette, a housewares store with a fully functioning kitchen. One of True Value’s 15 “Best Hardware Store in Town” honorees this year, the store is also the 2011 Golden Hammer “Tools of the Trade” Award winner.

• Utah
Parley’s Hardware 
On the home page of Orem, Utah-based Parley’s Hardware website (, owner Parley Hellewell speaks to his customers in a video clip, saying how “My wife thinks I’m crazy” for running a hardware store instead of retiring. But don’t let the overalls fool you. Hellewell operates a home improvement store that few single operators can rival. In addition to core categories, Parley’s Hardware has installed sales, a handyman service, and separate divisions that handle insulation, air-duct cleaning and HVAC services. Classes are held on site five nights a week, ranging from salsa-making and women’s self defense to contractor-oriented topics. “What more fun can there be than going down all day and playing in a hardware store?” Hellewell asks.

The next edition of HCN Thursday will profile all-star retailers in Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Or, to read the original story as it appeared in the May issue of Home Channel News, log on or register here.

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