2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — Lann Hardware (Mississippi)
HARDWARE STORES

Building business in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana

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:


Mississippi
Lann Hardware

Their motto for more than a century has been: if they can’t service it, they won’t sell it. “We won’t let anyone get stuck with anything that is not of quality,” said Walter Lann III, whose great-grandfather founded the business 139 years ago. “Even if they bought it two years ago, if they aren’t happy with it, we will make it right for them and take it back and replace it.” Under Lann’s direction, business has grown as the decades passed, with an assortment that once included caskets (they were once part of a funeral home) and offers traditional items and then some. “We go out of our way to find things for people. We will hunt it down.”


Alabama
Dan’s Hardware

This Phenix City All Star has enjoyed a growth streak, even as well-funded competitors Tractor Supply and Home Depot encroach into its market. The “Dan” on the sign is “Dan Hammock,” who leads a team that puts an emphasis on deep inventory and customer service. A strong power equipment offering rounds out the business.


Louisiana
Smith’s True Value and Everything Rental

Harry Smith took over this Eunice-based, 90-year-old family business in 1982 after spending his formative years working at the store. This 2015 Best Hardware Store in Town winner has made a name for itself in paint and rental. “Why buy when you can rent,” Smith said. His robust rental business has pushed the envelope lately with new items, including portable bathroom trailers that feature five private restroom stations and a heater/AC ideal for outdoor events. What sets this business apart is training — for newcomers and seasoned store veterans and managers.

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

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Menards tops J.D. Power leader board

A home improvement retailer satisfaction study puts the big box on top.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Menards ranks highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers for the first time, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study released Wednesday. The announcement ends a long grip on the top spot for Ace Hardware, which finished second in the survey.

The study was based on responses from 2,972 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in March 2018, and measured customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers by examining five factors (in alphabetical order): merchandise; price; sales and promotions; staff and service; and store facility.

Eau Claire, Wis.-based Menards, the operator of big box locations in the Midwest that run the gamut from lumber, windows, doors, swing sets, paint and even frozen pizza, collected 836 points on the 1,000-point scale.

Ace Hardware scored 832 and performed highest in staff and service. Lowe’s scored 828 and performed highest in merchandise and store facility.

In addition to its rankings – click here for more – the researchers at J.D. Power identified trends in the home improvement retailing business.  Chief among them: consumer spending on home improvement is on the rise, with an expected increase of 5.3% in 2018, to approximately $387 billion.

Following are some key findings of the 2018 study:

  • The “two-minute warning”: From the time a customer enters a store, that person expects to receive assistance from a store employee within two minutes, otherwise, satisfaction begins to decline. Overall satisfaction declines significantly when a customer waits more than two minutes to have his/her question answered, compared with waiting less than two minutes (821 vs. 882, respectively).
  • Satisfaction drives loyalty: Among delighted customers (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above), 80% say they “definitely will” repurchase from the retailer, compared with the study average of 48%. Additionally, 83% of delighted home improvement retailer customers say they “definitely will” recommend the retailer to others, compared with the study average of 49%.
  • Delightful experience influences recommendations: Among delighted customers, the average number of positive recommendations is 4.0, compared with the study average of 2.6.

Ace Hardware had been on an 11-year run as the top scoring retailer in the study. In last year’s survey, Ace was first, Menards second, and Lowe’s third.

 

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2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — Country Farm and Home (Tennessee)
HARDWARE STORES

All Star activity in Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri

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:


Tennessee
Country Farm and Home

Owner John Scott took his 30-plus years of experience in 2015 and formed his new enterprise, which combines Pickett Farm Supply and Pickett Building Center. Today the sprawling five-structure, 12-acre Country Farm and Home campus is located in idyllic Byrdstown and sells everything from concrete to shrubs. Business — and growth — is booming here, with two new locations opening in 2018, three in 2019 and three more in 2020. “Within three to four years, we’ll have 10 locations,” said Scott, who cites a broad range of products and competitive pricing for his success.


Arkansas
The Hardware Store

Walk into this family-owned and -operated store and chances are an owner, manager or staffer will call out your name. This Fayetteville destination is a haven for hardware junkies who spend time talking shop while getting their chainsaw sharpened. “If you need anything we will bend over backwards for you,” said manager Michael Howard, who left the corporate world join The Hardware Store six years ago. “When you buy a product from us, we’ll make sure you how to use it for your project.”


Missouri
Michael’s Hardware

The slogan “Friendly folks, serious hardware” describes this Cassville All Star well. Owner Michael LeCompte emphasizes extraordinarily friendly customer service and tops it off with a unique approach to social media. The store’s light-hearted, low-budget video series called Michael’s 2018 Hardware Olympics definitely deserves a medal.

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

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