HARDWARE STORES

Stars shine in Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho

State by state, meet the STIHL Hardware All Star class of 2019.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The STIHL Hardware All Star award program, now in its ninth year, recognized 50 high-performing hardware stores and lumber dealers in 2019 – one from each state.

What’s an All Star? One answer: We know it when we see it.  But another answer involves a long list of best practices and attributes. One of them is “innovative culture,” as seen in Howard Brothers, below. Another is deep involvement in the community, as seen in HPM Building Supply, below. And there’s also high levels of customer service, as seen in Caldwell True Value, below.

Here’s a brief introduction to three All Star performers:

• Howard Brothers
Oakwood, Ga.

Howard Brothers

“No cookie-cutters here—each store has its own personality and reach,” said John Howard, who co-owns the five-store True Value dealer with his brother Doug. The Oakwood location, for example, offers items not found elsewhere including dog houses, hardware for docks, boating, and power equipment, which has become a major revenue stream for the business. “Gear Up,” its biggest one-day sale of the year, is held every February and attracts top commercial landscape companies from Atlanta and North Georgia to take advantage of steep discounts, and manufacturer rebates.

• HPM Building Supply
Keaau, Ha.

HPM Building Supply

When the Kilauea volcano erupted last year, HPM Building Supply snapped into action. Combining its shed-kit inventory and its building-component expertise, the Hawaiian home center – with the help of vendors customers and volunteers – helped spearhead the construction of much-needed, comfortable and safe micro housing for local residents displaced by the dangerous lava flows. The result was not just boxes – but housing with insulated finished interiors that created a “comfortable place for someone to stay,” said Adam Bauer, COO of HPM.

The relief effort, he added, was a true, team effort. “What was awesome about it was the way everyone got together,” said Bauer. “And we put up 20 micro shelters in a single day. It really says a lot about the heart of our community and HPM.”

• Caldwell True Value
Caldwell, Idaho
The 12,000 sq. ft. selling space of this 2019 True Value “Best Hardware Store in Town” honoree is multi-tasking zone for the versatile staff. “We have your basic, core hardware items and a fairly good-sized giftware department,” said Leah Nelson. “Many of us are wearing triple hats.” Nelson will soon take over from her parents the wide-aisled, little-bit-of-everything, 35-year-old store . “We hear all the time from people that they come here when they don’t think they’re going to find it anywhere else,” she added.

Check out the full class of 2019 STIHL Hardware All Stars here.

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