DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

True Value points to retail role models

BY Ken Clark

Chicago-based True Value Co. recognized 13 True Value hardware stores, selected from each of the co-op’s retail regions, as winners of its sixth annual “Best Hardware Store in Town” program. 

The 13 winning stores for 2012 are:

  • Boland’s True Value – Chapin, S.C.
  • Cook’s True Value – Prosser, Wash.
  • DeRonne True Value Hardware & Rental – Eastpointe, Mich.
  • Horn’s True Value – Sayre, Penn.
  • Kelly’s Freeport, Ltd. – Freeport, Bahamas
  • Palm Springs True Value Hardware – Palm Springs, Calif.
  • Penn Valley True Value Hardware – Penn Valley, Calif.
  • Pojoaque True Value – Santa Fe, N.M.
  • Prairie Side True Value – Kenosha, Wis.
  • A Richardson’s True Value Hardware – Haskell, Texas
  • True Value of Litchfield – Litchfield, Conn.
  • True Value Home Center – Marshall, Minn.
  • Watkins True Value Hardware and Appliance – Marysville, Mo. 

True Value announced the winning retailers during the company’s 2013 Spring & Rental Market held in Atlanta Feb. 23-25.

“They are the embodiment of what it takes to exceed customer expectations,” said Lyle Heidemann, president and CEO of True Value. “They consistently deliver on the five principles of successful retailing: people, place, product, price and promotion, to meet customers’ needs and expectations, creating a profitable and sustainable business.” 

The Best Hardware Store in Town award recognizes True Value retailers who exemplify successful retailing. Stores are self-nominated, or nominated by a peer or retail manager, and go through a series of selection processes until regional managers narrow down the top candidates.

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For stores on the block, Ace launches listing service

BY Ken Clark

A new online tool from Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware is designed to help retailers sell a hardware store or find an existing retail space.

The website — hardwarestoresforsale.com — launched in mid-February as a listing service for "all convenience hardware retailers, no matter their affiliation." 

“The new ‘Hardware Stores for Sale’ website provides an affordable avenue for retailers to list their businesses, as well as a vetted outlet to search for prospective growth opportunities in desired business expansion markets,” said Tom Knox VP retail and business development, Ace Hardware Corp. 

Retailers listing a store location on the site have two options: a six-month listing for $295 or a one-year listing for $495.

To protect the identity of the store, site listings are “semi-blind” with only the state, major  metropolitan area and some general information about the store displayed. Only qualified, prospective buyers are presented to owners listed on the site, according to Ace.

A second phase of the website, “the marketplace,” will launch later in the spring. The marketplace component will provide an outlet for retailers to buy and sell gently used retail equipment and fixtures at an extremely nominal price.

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True Value rolls out credit card with rewards

BY Ken Clark

After completing the planning and the soft launch, True Value Co. plans to launch its credit card program for consumers in stores beginning March 7.

The True Value Discover Card will officially launch March 7 with the enticement of a $10 off-the-next-purchase deal for those who apply. But the bigger benefit is the rewards that accrue over time. Consumers get 3% back for purchases made at participating True Value stores, 2% back for purchases of gas and groceries, and 1% back on all other purchases. 

March 7 also marks the launch of the Commercial Credit Card, the Taylor Rental credit card, the Grand Rental Station card and the Home & Garden Marketplace card. 

WIth the launch, True Value joins rival co-ops in the field of in-store credit card finance.

The Ace Rewards Visa Card issued by U.S. Bank, which offers a similar reward structure, with the addition of points towards Ace Rewards. Do it Best offers a private-label card through Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. 

More than 1,600 True Value stores have signed up to offer the credit card program.

At the True Value Spring Market in Atlanta, CEO Lyle Heidemann described the program as an important step for retailers that is offered to them free. 

"We soft launched this program in 75 stores the past two weeks with no glitches," said Heidemann. "I actually applied and was accepted for a co-branded card. It was easy and took less than two minutes to apply."

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