Building business in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana
State by state, meet the 2018 class of Stihl Hardware All Stars.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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