Heartland highlights: Wisconsin, Iowa and Kansas
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:
All American Do it Center
Founded as a lumberyard focusing on contractors, the business has evolved into a one-stop shop for all things building materials and rental equipment. Owner Brian Buswell said his rental business is not only a moneymaker but a solution for customers. And if a customer can’t rent a piece of equipment because it’s unavailable, they get a raincheck and a 20% discount. “This way, customers are more willing to come back,” Buswell said. “People are pretty happy about this policy.”
Here’s a great way for a hardware store operator to show community commitment: Earn recognition as “Citizen of the Year.” That’s exactly what Susan Wasko earned in 2014 from the Keosauqua. Susan and Joe Wasko of Wasko Do it Best Hardware have a long list of involvement: Chamber of Commerce, Keosauqua Library, Children First — even the Post-Prom Committee. Sales are growing through an enhanced home décor department and a strategic customer loyalty program.
When the Lyons, Kan., Christmas Lights parade hit hard times in 2016, this All-Star store stepped in to save the sparkle. And it worked. The parade had a record 52 floats in 2017 — just one example of the community focus in a town of 3,800. “People here are gung ho on community involvement,” said Jason Huddleston, co-owner with his wife, Danica. “And it helps business as customers realize that we’re not here just to take their money, we’re here to build this community.”
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