2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — Gemmen's Home & Hardware (Michigan)
HARDWARE STORES

Service starts here in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania

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:


Michigan
Gemmen’s Home & Hardware

What began as a 4,000-sq.-ft. store with one employee in 1955 has grown into a 42,000-sq.-ft. location with more than 50 employees. Its secret: A willingness to change and make difficult decisions, according to owner Andrew Gemmen. “We had to be willing to change into different categories and move away from categories like decorative furniture, home décor and hunting and fishing. Last year, we went through a massive change to Ace Hardware. Our willingness to change has kept us vibrant.”


Ohio
McAuliffe’s Ace

This 30,000-sq.-ft. hardware store in Marysville has 98 years of community involvement. Third-generation co-owner Dan Fitzgerald is proud of the store’s commitment and contributions to Reunion County. For instance, an annual dog wash supports local pet shelters. And last year, the store cleared out its rental department to help raise a record $198,000 for an auction that funds the Care Train charity for families in need.


Pennsylvania
Werner Lumber Ace Hardware

“We were Werner Lumber before, and now in the community we are known as the Ace store,” Craig Werner said. Operating in its fifth generation, Werner Lumber joined Ace Hardware in 2015 and has taken off when it comes to the hardware business. It recently renovated an abandoned clothing factory — which produced jackets for the 1970 Olympic team — into a 16,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art hardware store and maintains an adjoining 10,000-sq.-ft. building with windows, doors, building materials and rental equipment. Werner Lumber was recognized with Ace’s “Coolest Hardware Store” award. “We’re pretty proud. It’s a unique place,” Werner said.

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

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