DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Hardware Store All-Stars: Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana

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 Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Missouri: Oak Hill Hardware & Paint Company is an uncontested favorite in the St. Louis community — big-store comprehensiveness in a small-store format helped it become Riverfront Times’ Best Hardware Store of 2012. It certainly fits the bill for All-Star-level customer service, and it’s been helping the community find the things they didn’t realize they needed since 1931.

Arkansas: Hilltop Ace Hardware in Jonesboro is certainly more accessible than the competing Lowe’s, but it comes out on top for reasons other than having what the community needs — which certainly helps its case. It’s having what the community needs while successfully filtering out all the useless filler that it doesn’t. The result is a friendly, neighborhood hardware store that’s easy to navigate and knows you well.

Louisiana: When Denney Braswell of Budget Build Home Center True Value decided to revamp his 15-year-old business, he went with the Destination True Value format that’s worked its charm on so many other businesses. Also working in the favor of the Ferriday, La., store is its new-and-improved paint display and lawn and garden section — the former of which saw tripled sales in the past year. Extra points are awarded for a social media campaign that includes the creation of a viral YouTube video of store employees swatting at mosquitos.

For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.

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Do it Best promotes Mike Ter Molen

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best Corp. promoted Mike Ter Molen to divisional manager of Building Products and Home Decor, effective immediately.  

In this position, Ter Molen will lead the co-op’s Building Products Division team, with a focus on growing sales of building and home decor products.

“Our team has a strong commitment to helping our members grow, and I am excited for this incredible opportunity to do just that,” Ter Molen said. “It’s an honor to get to work with a very experienced and talented team and to serve our outstanding member-owners.” 

Ter Molen is a 14-year veteran of Do it Best, most recently serving as a sales manager for building products, a position he’s held since 2006. Prior to that, he worked for five years as a sales manager in commodities and for three years as an account executive in commodities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication and amaster’s degree in professional communication, both from Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne.

“Mike’s extensive experience at Do it Best Corp., especially within our division, is an invaluable building block for the success of his team and, most importantly, our members,” saidQuent Ondricek,Do it Best VP lumber and building materials. “In addition to his experience, he brings all of the right skills and abilities — including exceptional creativity, high energy, and managerial skills to lead and inspire others — to position himself, his team and our members for long-term growth and success.”

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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?
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Hardware Store All-Stars: Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm & 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 Nebraska, Kansa and Iowa.

Nebraska: The tiny community of Ashland felt the absence of its local lumberyard when it closed, but luckily, recent retiree Dean Curtis decided to rise to the occasion. With some help from the SBA and Do it Best Corp., Curtis purchased a portion of the former lumberyard property and finished with a remodeled building containing twice the retail space. Today, C&L Hardware operates on the premise of "we may not have it now, but we can get it for you" – modestly downplaying its, in all actuality, fairly extensive product offerings.

Kansas: Megan Menzer, the fourth-generation owner of Newton’s True Value Hardware in Independence, puts a decidedly fresh-faced spin on business proceedings. Borrowing knowledge from her father and using her next-generation savvy to bring the store up to speed, Menzer recently opened the new location in Independence with a Destination True Value format and a whopping $42,000 in sales during the first three days alone. Her handiness with social media, resourcefulness as a DIY consultant and rotating schedule of store events has caught the attention of a younger audience, many of whom are buying their first homes.

Iowa: Serving its small community of 1,500 people well is Marcus Lumber Company, a lumberyard stocked with 10 delivery vehicles, 25 employees and an 18,000-sq.ft. showroom. This wealth of resources contributes to A-level service, and with four of the youngest generation working full-time in the industry, the fourth-generation business has managed to stay firmly in the family. With a fully engaged community and staff, the business has firmly cemented itself as a Marcus mainstay.

Next week, HCN will highlight All-Stars in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.

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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?