HCN’s 2013 Hardware Store ALL-STARS
Bart and Diana Tyler, proprieters of Kelloggs & Lawrence in Katonah, N.Y., and DeWayne Tripp, owner of Hinton (Okla.) Hardware joined an elite crowd in 2013: HCN Hardware Store All-Stars. Their stores made the list, along with 48 other worthy retailers, one from each state.
Now in its third year, the HCN All-Star project recognizes hardware stores that are outstanding in their field. They don’t have to be the biggest, or even the most profitable. But they must display an All-Star sense for customer service and business acumen.
To those who nominated stores, the editors thank you. To those who made the list, congratulations. And to those who believe they deserve to be recognized as All-Stars, tell us about it — and we’ll see you next year.
✭ Alabama: Dixie Pro Hardware, Montgomery, Ala.
✭ Alaska: Anchorage True Value Hardware, Anchorage
✭ Arizona: Havasu Do it Best Hardware, Lake Havasu City
✭ Arkansas: Hilltop Ace Hardware, Little Rock
✭ California: Pete’s Ace Hardware, Castro Valley
✭ Colorado: Joseph’s Do it Best Hardware, Fort Collins
✭ Connecticut: Hemlock Hardware, Fairfield
✭ Delaware: Fairfax Hardware, Wilmington
✭ Florida: Halls Ace Hardware & Lumber, Milton
✭ Georgia: Intown Ace Hardware, Decatur
✭ Hawaii: Lahaina Ace Hardware, Lahaina
✭ Idaho: D&B Supply, multiple locations
✭ Idaho: Selkirk Ace Hardware, Oldtown
✭ Illinois: Tonnies Hardware and Rental, Albers
✭ Iowa: Marcus Lumber Company, Marcus
✭ Kansas: Newton’s True Value Hardware, Independence
✭ Kentucky: Congleton Brothers Pro Home Center, Beattyville
✭ Louisiana: Budget Build Home Center True Value, Ferriday
✭ Maine: Ames True Value Hardware & Supply, Wiscasset
✭ Maryland: Dunkirk Do it Best Hardware & Home Center, Dunkirk
✭ Massachusetts: Baskin’s True Value, South Yarmouth
✭ Michigan: ACO Hardware, multiple locations
✭ Minnesota: Frattalones Ace Hardware, Minneapolis
✭ Mississippi: Complete Home Center, Hernando
✭ Missouri: Oak Hill Hardware & Paint Company, St. Louis
✭ Montana: Montana Ace-Trempers, Missoula
✭ Nebraska: C&L Hardware, Ashland
✭ Nevada: Home Hardware and Variety, Boulder City
✭ New Hampshire: Goffstown Ace Hardware, Goffstown
✭ New Jersey: McGrath’s Paint and Hardware, multiple locations
✭ New Mexico: Harts Home Center, Moriarty
✭ New York: Kelloggs & Lawrence Do it Best, Katonah
✭ North Carolina: Zoller Hardware, Cashiers
✭ North Dakota: Stockmen’s Supply, West Fargo
✭ Ohio: Applegate Pro Hardware, Georgetown
✭ Oklahoma: Hinton True Value Hardware, Hinton
✭ Oregon: Parkrose Hardware, Portland
✭ Pennsylvania: Bomberger’s Store, Lititz
✭ Rhode Island: Wyoming Do it Best Hardware, Wyoming
✭ South Carolina: Tri-County Ace, Seneca
✭ South Dakota: Runnings, multiple locations
✭ Tennessee: Ace Hardware of Chattanooga
✭ Texas: Guadalupe Lumber Co., San Antonio
✭ Utah: Sol Foods, Hardware and Camping, Springdale
✭ Vermont: J&H Hardware Do it Best, Bellows Falls
✭ Virginia: Randy’s Do it Best Hardware (multiple locations)
✭ Washington: Island Do it Best Home Center and Lumber, Vashon
✭ West Virginia: Boltz Hardware, Garden Center & General Store, Martinsburg
✭ Wisconsin: Watson Ace Hardware, Lake Mills
✭ Wyoming: Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply, multiple locations
Before and after: Delbert Brown’s Ace
Like many hardware stores that come to embrace change, Delbert Brown’s Ace Hardware in Stanton, Ky., needed room to grow. Its 8,000-sq.-ft. layout simply wasn’t cutting it, especially when it had an extra 2,100 sq. ft. of adjoining property essentially serving as wasted storage space.
“It was no use at all,” said owner Delbert Brown.
Before: Given that he already owned the space, the decision to expand was a virtual no-brainer.
Construction started in November 2012 and ended in January, with extensive updates that involved taking down the walls, redoing the lighting and the floors, and changing the entrance to make it more central to the overall layout. A new relationship with Ace brought in a larger paint format, Craftsman tool line and other expansions.
“We ended up resetting the entire store,” said Brown, who cited a 20% larger paint and tools department, a 15% larger plumbing aisle and a 10% increase in his electrical products selection, he said.
After: The saying applies: “The world fills whatever size cup you arrive with.” A larger store meant larger profits, with an overall increase of 15% in year-over-year sales.
“This has been one of the most positive moves [I’ve ever made],” said Brown. “People are overwhelmed by the new product lines — they can get everything they need here. They don’t need to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s.”
Ace Hardware event kicks off in Orlando
Oak Brook, Ill.-based co-op Ace Hardware kicks off its three-day Fall Convention and Exhibits Tuesday morning with an early morning General Session at the Orange County Convention Center.
The event organizers say they expect more than 5,000 Ace retailers from all 50 states and 73 countries to attend.
In addition to buying and networking on the convention floor, the event’s retailer training sessions run the gamut from strategies to remove unproductive inventory to prevent shoplifting and to increase retail space productivity.
The event runs through Sept. 12.