Life in the Big Ten: Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana

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:

Shaw Hardware

Adding a unique twist to an historic 105-year-old hardware store on Main Street in Plattsmouth, owner-operator Sue Shaw added "the His & Her hardware" concept to attract more women customers. "With half our customers being woman, we want to be the place where ‘women’ come in and feel comfortable," she said. “Pinterest is so big right now and we have more single woman owning homes than ever before. They want a place to go where they can talk to someone." Along with a classic offering, Shaw has added home brewing, bee keeping and custom picture framing.

S.I. Kincaid & Sons

Robyn Anderson, the granddaughter of Stephen Isaiah Kincaid, has picked the date to celebrate this Fairfield, Ill., All Star’s 100th anniversary (it’s Saturday, June 9). And she’s also inviting the town of Lewisville, where S.I. Kincaid himself started the business. Today, the 2018 All Star and Do it Best member sells everything from horseshoes to fine china, and LBM sales are growing steadily.

Fusek's True Value

Steve Fusek knows what gets the engines running in Indianapolis. The owner of Fusek’s True Value is a former Indy car racing industry executive who opened this All Star store in downtown Indy in 2004. “What makes us special is we view the customer differently than most retailers,” he said. “We are solution providers to the customers, and we feel this gives us a big advantage over just about everybody in the marketplace.” And don’t miss the hardware happy hour deals on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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