HARDWARE STORES

Stars shine in Ore., Pa., and R.I.

State by state, meet the 2019 class of ‘Stihl Hardware All Stars.’

BY HBSDealer Staff

The editors of HBSDealer took notes and took nominations. Utlimately, they selected fifty high-performing, customer-serving hardware and building supply all stars – we call them our STIHL Hardware All Stars. All 50 were featured in a recent issue – check it out here.

What were the selection criteria? Any or all of the following:

  • High levels of customer service;
    • High performance – growth, sales, profit or any other metric;
    • Deep involvement in the community;
    • Innovative culture;
    • Outstanding merchandising and store design;
    • Willingness to take risks;
    • A passion for philanthropy;
    • Excellence in training;
    • Ability to adapt to trends and society; and
    • Generally, just an all-around all-star retailer.

Several of the above apply to all of the below.

Tightwads Discount Building Supply
Prineville, Ore.
They might be “Tightwads” in name but don’t mistake this building supply establishment for being cheap, or even a thrift store. As managing partner Josh Hanson noted, “We sell all new items here.” Tightwads focuses on budget-conscious customers—mostly DIYers for home improvement projects–with pricing and unique items. Hanson, a fifth-generation lumberman who spent 25 years in the sawmill industry, is able to leverage his relationships with mills, with the ultimate goal of passing the savings onto his customers.

Triangle Building Supplies & Services
Bellefonte, Pa.
Being diversified has allowed Triangle, a 2019 True Value Best Hardware Store in Town honoree, to withstand any seasonal softness. Although its business is concentrated on building supplies, Triangle operates a hardware store, a separate rental business, an attached showroom for kitchen and bath, a full-service lumberyard, and an on-premises mill shop. Owner J. Allen Witherid also has a separate heating and cooling business. “The last couple of years have been very good, and we’re ahead of our pace this year,” said Andy Corman, manager. “Unlike the box stores, we know where our products are located, and we help our customers solve their problems.”

Mt. Pleasant Hardware
Providence, R.I.
Marc Gillson, the third-generation owner of a business his grandfather established in 1923, credits their success with being able to adapt. “We have morphed from strictly hardware to industrial supply to paint; and as those markets dried up, we moved into window and glass installation and repair for commercial and residential customers. It’s all about giving the customer what they want, when they want it.” Mt. Pleasant runs a lean operation, with fewer than 10 full-time employees. However, these employees are often on a first-name basis with customers and able to cultivate relationships that go beyond the sale.

Congratulations to the 2019 Class of STIHL Hardware All Stars.

 

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