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National Hardware Show 2018 — Outdoor
The show’s outdoor Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ exhibit area has grown each year since its inception.
National Hardware Show 2018 — Ring
Ring made its presence known in the show’s Smart Home area.
National Hardware Show 2018 — Greenhouse
Innovation in outdoor living on display.
National Hardware Show 2018 — Man cave
Signs of growth for the man cave movement.
National Hardware Show 2018 — Goldblatt
Classic American brand Goldblatt is being relaunched by Hangzhou GreatStar.
National Hardware Show 2018 — Hillman car
The Hillman booth drove interest with a high-tech car-key replacement service.
HARDWARE STORES

Around the horn in Las Vegas

The National Hardware Show curated three days of discovery.

BY Ken Clark

Las Vegas The National Hardware Show brought the industry to Las Vegas for three days of networking, learning and, of course, products.

“This year’s show is all about new,” said Rich Russo, VP of the National Hardware Show, in his opening day remarks. “From our logo and branding to 500-plus new exhibitors, there are new experiences everywhere you turn and new products to bring back to your stores.”

All told, some 2,800 exhibitors were on hand to welcome the hardware industry to the show. One of those attendees was Martin Prus, owner of Abbotsford Paint & Decorating. “I’ve been coming to the show for 12 years,” he said. “We’re always looking for new products and seeing how we can expand on what we have.”

One post can’t hold the event’s vastness, but above are some of the sights seen in Las Vegas.

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2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — Tri State Building Center (South Dakota)
HARDWARE STORES

Building business in Minnesota and the Dakotas

State by state, meet the 2018 class of Stihl Hardware All Stars.

BY HBSDealer Staff

It takes a little more to be a Stihl Hardware All Star.

Each year, HBSDealer solicits nominations from readers and the industry for Hardware All Stars.

And each year, we’re rewarded with a fresh class of high-performing, community-minded, service-oriented businesses worthy of the honor.

During the course of our research, we’ve met dealers who take risks, inspire staff and lift communities — or have what we call the All Star spirit.

Congratulations to all of the 2018 Stihl Hardware All Star honorees. Here’s three stars worth gazing at:


South Dakota
Tri State Building Center

Brett Hanson decided to go the pro dealer route and purchased a lumberyard in 2011. A year later, the former builder bought the neighborhood hardware store in Sisseton, soon combining the businesses under one roof. “The ‘little hardware’ part of it just started growing, and we saw the community needed more,” Hanson said. Within a year, sales tripled at Tri State Building Center and have grown tenfold since. “We were contractors so we have an understanding how contractors our think,” Hanson explained. “That helps us when we communicate with customers.”


North Dakota
S&J Hardware

Founded by Vern Slettend and Art Johnson in 1965, new owner Gary Larson and his team are constantly adjusting their seasonal product in this Garrison All Star. When store manager Gerald Cain quips, “We’re the only game in town,” he’s not kidding. Garrison-based S&J is the lone hardware store in a town of 1,500 that doubles in size during the summer when visitors flock to Lake Sakakawea, located two miles from the store. S&J takes full advantage of the lake business with fishing, boating and camping gear. “We do everything under the sun here,” Cain said. That also means dressing the entire staff in Victorian garb for the Charles Dickens Village Festival that runs for three weekends following Thanksgiving.


Minnesota
Mound True Value

Mound True Value is famous for its free popcorn, but that’s just the beginning for this 2017 True Value-designated Best Hardware Store in Town. “Customer service is obviously the big one,” said T.J. Skinner, manager of the 13,000-sq.-ft. store. “And we take pride in keeping everything neat and clean.” The clean machine is a purveyor of big brands and live events, such as its Garden Party, Holiday Open House, Kids Day and Ladies Night.

See the full Class of 2018 Hardware All Stars — presented by Stihl — in the May issue of HBSDealer magazine.

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HARDWARE STORES

Busy Beaver opens in Greenville

BY HBSDealer Staff

The second of five new Busy Beaver stores planned for 2018 opened this month in Greenville, Pa.

The new store, the Pittsburgh-based retailers 19th, features an expanded seasonal department, an indoor lumber yard, a farm and ranch department, and a designated contractor service center.

“We’re excited about our new store serving Greenville area homeowners, contractors, DIYers, farmers and all residents. During each visit, our customers are offered knowledgeable help and legendary customer service, so they are able to find what they need.” said Joe Kallen, chief executive officer, Busy Beaver.

The grand opening ceremony featured gift card giveaways, donations to Make-A-Wish Foundation, and store scavenger hunts, among other activities.

Busy Beaver opened a store in Grove City in March.

Busy Beaver operates 19 stores in three states Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The company says it is committed to providing “legendary customer service and a customer-centric in-store experience at each of its neighborhood home improvement centers.”

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