HARDWARE STORES

Hardware store all-stars: Iowa, Kansas and Kentucky

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The May issue of Home Channel News compiled the first-ever state-by-state Hardware Store All Star list. Here are three more of the 50: standout stores from Iowa, Kansas and Kentucky.

• Iowa
Bomgaars
With 59 stores spread across the upper Midwest, Sioux City, Iowa-based Bomgaars is a classic family owned retailer that opened an impressive 10 stores last year, expanding its footprint into Colorado and Wyoming. Not your typical hardware store, Bomgaars’ major departments expand beyond paint, hardware and tools and include farm, pet, clothing and footwear. 

• Kansas
Westlake Ace Hardware
In early 2010, this 88-store hardware chain based in Lenexa, Kan., reexamined its business model and revamped its service standards through a Project North Star optimization program. One result is a new tagline reflecting commitment to service: “Small projects. Big know-how. Ask away.” Another is the rollout of 25 Lawn and Garden Centers this spring. It appears to be working. Same-store sales increased 3% last year, and are running at an increase of 4.5% so far this year. 

• Kentucky
Brownsboro Hardware & Paint
Brownsboro Hardware has been recognized by Do it Best as a high-performance independent that competes and wins against some tough home improvement competition in suburban Louisville. The store is Kentucky’s largest Weber Grill dealer. How? By working at it constantly. “Whether it’s Dec. 3 or July 3, we roll those grills onto our sidewalk every day,” owner Jim Lehrer said. “And that has become kind of a billboard for us.” A second location, this one in Prospect, Ky., opened in April.

Coming Thursday: Louisiana, Maine and Maryland.

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Do it Best speeds into Indianapolis

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Indianapolis — The 2011 Do it Best May Market kicks off tonight at the recently expanded Indiana Convention Center.

The show floor will open Friday night with "Sneak Peak" market specials after a day of educational sessions and merchandise updates. The weekend schedule includes a Kickoff Breakfast with keynote speaker Joe Calloway on the top of entrepreneurs, small business and leadership. A special lunch-and-learn session Saturday will focus on online marketing. And a Saturday night concert with the classic rock band Kansas is on tap for Saturday evening.

The Do it Best market runs through Monday, May 23. 

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Michigan hardware store damaged by blaze

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ward’s Do-it Center, a hardware store in Hamburg Township, Mich., reopened on May 14 after a fire destroyed nearly half the store the week before, according to an article in the Livingston Daily

Firefighters from several municipalities near the southeast Michigan town battled the May 9 evening blaze, which damaged or destroyed two other stores in the strip mall they share. No one was hurt.

Steve Ward, owner of Ward’s Do-it Center, said the fire crippled 50% of his operation and destroyed the garden center. He erected tents behind the store to replace the garden center until a permanent structure can be rebuilt, hopefully within three months.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined.

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