Hardware Store All-Stars: Wisconsin and Michigan
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.For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All-Stars, click here.
Meanwhile, HCN Daily has been working its way across the country with mini profiles, continuing (and concluding) this week with Wisconsin and Michigan.
Wisconsin: Watson Ace Hardware is a Lake Mills mainstay and a dream come true, quite literally, for owner Brian Watson. A few years ago, Watson entered the Dream Ace competition; to his great disappointment, he lost, but decided to open a store anyway after 30+ years as a CPA. Watson’s outstanding leadership qualities have seen to it that every employee hired before his business opened in 2009 is still working at the store. A habit of sharing performance metrics with the team, mentoring new retailers, donating to community causes and going to all ends for his customers has earned him the title of Retail Group Leader for the Madison Ace Dealer, as well as consistent growth year-over-year.
Michigan: Though ACO Hardware made the decision to close 14 under-performing stores in May, the Michigan home improvement chain store has displayed an ability to adapt and survive in a challenging Detroit market. To say the least, it has enough clout to raise $308,000 over the past two years for various statewide charities. With all said and done, it’s still, at 52 locations strong, the state’s largest independent hardware retailer.
Do it Best promotes Schmiedel
Do it Best Corp. promoted Rob Schmiedel to the role of national sales manager, effective immediately.
In this position, Schmiedel will work closely with the Do it Best Corp. executive team to develop and implement national sales and business development strategies. He will also oversee the co-op’s nationwide team of regional and territory sales managers, equipping them with the support and tools necessary to fuel their member-owners’ growth and drive even greater sales to their customers.
“I’m honored to lead our team as national sales manager,” Schmiedel said. “I look forward to working with our committed group of sales managers as we continually pursue our No. 1 goal: helping our members grow.”
Schmiedel first joined the co-op’s sales team as a territory sales and business development manager for markets in central and western Pennsylvania, where he served for five years. Schmiedel was then promoted to regional sales and business development manager for the northeastern U.S. For the past two years he managed a team of territory managers covering Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont.
“Rob brings the perfect combination of experience, business acumen and enthusiasm to this role,” added VP sales and business development Jay Brown. “As a seasoned professional, he understands the specific needs of both our field sales team and our members.”
Hardware Store All-Stars: Illinois and Ohio
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.