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

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.

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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