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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)
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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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2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — Shaw Hardware (Nebraska)
HARDWARE STORES

Life in the Big Ten: Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana

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:


Nebraska
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.


Illinois
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.


Indiana
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.

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