HARDWARE STORES

Westlake to open another Kansas store

Westlake Ace Hardware's new Bonner Springs location will be pet friendly.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Westlake Ace Hardware will open a new store in Bonner Springs, Kansas, slated to open during the fall of 2018. The new Westlake store will have a 17,977 square foot sales floor and will feature a Westlake Pet Supply store-within-a-store.

“Westlake has long been part of the Kansas City area, so the opening of an additional store in the metro is particularly exciting for us,” said Joe Jeffries, CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware. “Becoming part of the Bonner Springs community will allow us to deepen our relationship with customers in the greater Kansas City metro area and show them how we live the Ace Helpful Promise every day by delivering reliable service, helpful advice and products to help customers get their projects done right.”

The new store will be located on the southwest corner of Kansas Avenue and K-7 highway.

Traditional hardware products as fasteners, tools, plumbing and electric supplies and paint — as well as lawn and garden supplies, and BBQ products from Big Green Egg, Masterbuilt, Traeger, and Weber.

Westlake Pet Supply sells an array of pet food, toys, grooming products, health supplies, pre-packed and bulks treats. Featured premium brands will include Blue Buffalo, Science Diet, Nutro, Taste of The Wild, Merrick, and more.

Also inside, a Hallmark Gold Crown department will carry plenty of items customers are accustomed to finding in a large stand-alone Gold Crown store, such as gift wrap, greeting cards, Keepsake Ornaments, and home décor items.

Westlake has been in operation for more than 110 years and currently has 121 neighborhood hardware stores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Washington.

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At Johnsons, the popcorn is always free

A Maple Valley, Wash., store builds customer relationships by the bag full.

BY Ken Clark

The tradition of free popcorn for customers is alive and well in Maple Valley, Wash., where Johnsons Home and Garden emphasizes a customer-friendly shopping environment. There’s free coffee, too.

According to Abby Deskins, the store’s social media and marketing associate, it’s all part of a plan to give back and fit in. Free popcorn is just the beginning.

“We are community focused and always want to help out in any way we can,” said Deskins. “It’s important for us to give back to the community. We have held multiple donation drives at our store, been sponsors for local businesses and organizations, been involved in many community events, and have even provided popcorn to elementary schools.”

Free popcorn is an important symbol and a longstanding tradition at the (almost) 50-year-old store.

Johnsons Home & Garden

“In fact,” she says, “we are called the ‘popcorn store’ to many of our regulars. We clean our popcorn machine every night and any of the remaining popcorn goes home to one of our employees who then feeds it to her chickens. No popcorn goes to waste.”

The store, affiliated with the Do it Best co-op, adds to its friendly shopping environment with a fish pond in the greenhouse, where kids can sometimes feed the fish. (“Kids absolutely love it,” she says.) For adults, cooking and grilling classes tackle a variety of recipes.

Community concern extends to the environment, she says. “We have reusable shopping bags to purchase and a recycling program all year round,” Deskins said. “We are a valuable resource for people to recycle their household batteries, CFL bulbs, and even drop off your old American flag to be retired by a local scout unit.”

According to Deskins’ analysis, the bonds with the community are strong. Consider this: high school students on prom night are reported to have visited the store for some of the free popcorn.

“I believe the best thing about our store is that we are loved by all ages,” she said.

# # #

A recent article in HBSDealer reported on regulations that forced a California dealer to abandon his popcorn program. Read the article here. Does your store offer free popcorn? Write us at [email protected]

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2018 Stihl Hardware All Stars
HARDWARE STORES

Proud independents in Maine and Massachusetts

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 two stars worth gazing at:


Maine
Richardson Hardware

This all-around retail All Star in Patton, Maine, operates in the shadow of Mt. Katahdin. Kayaks, hardware, greenhouses and a drive-through lumberyard are just part of the attraction. “We’ve been fortunate to withstand the online competition,” said Nate Richardson, whose great grandfather founded the business. “And the reason is our ability to change, adapt and differentiate ourselves.” Case in point: a new, 2,000-sq.-ft. hydroponics department that opened as the state voted to decriminalize marijuana use.


Massachusetts
Carr Hardware

When this All Star received the 2018 Small Business of the Year Award, it did what comes natural — it gave back to the community. The $5,000 cash award for winning the Independent Small Business of the Year award (or Indie Award) was pledged to a park revitalization project in Pittsfield, the company’s main branch. The award was a national competition of all kinds of small businesses. “Our community supports us, and we support them,” co-owner Bart Raser said. “It’s nice to know we live in a community that appreciates the value and impact of independent small businesses.”

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

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