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Hardware Store All-Stars: Illinois and Ohio

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm and 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 Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Illinois: Talk about keeping it in the family. Tonnies Hardware and Rental is owned and operated by third-generation hardware chief Steve Tonnies, who was born and raised right above the store in Albers. In fact, both he and his wife Susan run the team, which is made up of generations four and five. Over 100 years later, Tonnies is still the place that boasts, "We sell everything."

Ohio: It’s said that Georgetown’s Applegate’s Pro Hardware is the kind of store one’s grandparents would have shopped in. Assuming one’s grandparents were hyper-involved in their communities, this probably wouldn’t be too far off-base. This store’s priorities lie in community service, local politics and superior customer service. Plus, with a recent expansion project under its belt, Applegate’s is rather easy on the eyes as well.

Next week, HCN will wrap up its All-Stars series in Wisconsin and Michigan. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All-Stars, click here.

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A Do it Best dealer’s post-typhoon struggle

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Like most buildings and structures in the Philippines city of Tacloban, the mall housing Handyman’s — a Do it Best Corp. member — suffered significant damage from Typhoon Haiyan in November.

The mall’s roof was partially ripped away and its windows completely destroyed, allowing mud and rain to pour into the shopping center. To make matters worse, the city of Tacloban is still without power, making any efforts to clean up and re-open very difficult. Officials there expect it to take up to six months for the store to re-open in full.

The storm and its aftermath have put Handyman’s operators into full recovery mode as the co-op reports as it rushes to provide much-needed supplies and support to the people of Tacloban. The store is working toward a partial re-opening in the next week or so (power or not) so that it can provide basic necessities like food, flashlights, sleeping bags and other items to residents. 

In addition, Handyman’s is working behind the scenes bringing in additional supplies of the items residents need most. This has taken some nimble logistical planning to source supplies – tents, solar generators, flashlights, batteries, solar lanterns – and get them to the storm-ravaged area. Handyman’s has ordered some supplies directly from local suppliers and transferred some items in from other Handyman’s locations in Southeast Asia. At the same time, they’ve sourced a significant amount of flashlights and batteries from a Do it Best Corp. vendor that will of great use for customers when they arrive in the next week.

On top of all this, Handyman’s is collecting money and other donated items at all of its stores throughout the Philippines to send to Tacloban for distribution among those affected by the storm. 

 

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Hardware Store All-Stars: Tenn., Ky. and W.Va.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm and 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 Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Tennessee: Word on the street is that Ace Hardware of Chattanooga holds a spectacular Spring Open House each year. This year, especially, there was cause to celebrate, as the store had recently been treated to a makeover. With nice wide aisles, lots of storage, a thriving garden center and an area for home decor, the store has more or less had its spring awakening.

Kentucky: Congleton Brothers Pro Home Center, located in Beattyville, knows a thing or two about customer satisfaction. Having opened its doors over 90 years ago as a furniture store, it soon expanded to include feed and seed, hardware, and even embalming and funeral directing. Fast forward to recent decades, and you’ll soon learn that current owners Terry and Lynda Congleton began selling lumber when the local lumberyard closed, as well as opened a rental department per popular demand. It’s not hard to see why this location earned a spot as PRO Hardware’s Cosgrave Award finalist this year.

West Virginia: Having been around since 1929, this business knows a thing or two about weathering economic turbulence. For the green thumbs of Martinsburg, Boltz Hardware, Garden Center & General Store has been an old-time favorite in town. Here, you’ll find your garden essentials and a complete hardware selection, as well as little extras like gourmet birdseed, old-fashioned candy and canning supplies. 

Next week, HCN will highlight All-Stars in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All-Stars, click here.

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