The 2017 class of Stihl Hardware All Stars come from all 50 states — and they each bring something unique to the table. Of course, there are common traits among the honorees — community service, perseverance and patience are among them.
The following three All-Star honorees reflect the variety of retail styles in the Class of 2017, and they also reflect the basic core of a Hardware All Star.
Rathdrum Trading Post
The ability to rally a community into action is a rare quality – even among All Stars. But that’s what happened at Rathdrum Trading Post Hardware. When the store received an unexpected notice of eviction from its landlord, the community rushed to the store’s defense, offering temporary space, manpower and trucks to keep the local hardware store going until it could find a permanent home. The happy ending arrived in September with the grand opening of the community focused 12,000 sq. ft. store.
RP Lumber Co.
The Edwardsville, Illinois-based lumberyard and home center was nominated on the strength of its story as a classic American success. And who could argue? From Bob and Donna Plummer’s single store in Staunton, Illinois in 1979, to a company with 60 locations across Illinois and Missouri. The business is split three ways – do it yourself, residential and commercial, from hand tools to blueprint takeoffs and design.
Rob Gardiner and his sister Susan Geyer showed the All-Star qualities of patience and perseverance when they opened Randolph Hardware in June 2015 – the families second store. After nine relatively quiet months, business began to boom, and it hasn’t stopped. Gardiner credits marketing, loyalty cards, quality brands and well-trained staff to do their work. There’s also a willingness to adapt and adjust, as in the case of a new light bulb aisle. “It’s important to stay current,” he said. “And sometimes that involves taking product off the shelf.”