Star performance: Havasu Hardware

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Star performance: Havasu Hardware

By HBSDealer Staff - 05/19/2020
This year marks the 10th time in 10 years that HBSDealer recognized high-performing and community-centric retailers for their All Star performance – one retailer from each of the fifty states. For the first time, this year’s constellation of stars were selected from the list of previous winners, a list deserving of the “Superstar” label.

The full list of STIHL Hardware All Stars can be found here in the May digital issue of HBSDealer.

Here’s an up-close and personal on the issue’s cover retailer: Havasu Hardware in Lake Havasu, Ariz.

All star: Havasu Hardware
Location: Lake Havasu, Ariz.
Skinny: This 55-year-old business offers the mom-and-pop experience for DIYers, industrial-commercial excellence for pros. Decentralized management and heavy training empowers employees on the floor.

Erica McCorkle behind the counter.

Located near the California boarder, Havasu City, Ariz is the home of the original London Bridge (you can look it up). It’s also the home of Havasu Hardware, which was recognized as a Hardware All Star in 2013, and as a “superstar” in 2020.

“Being a third-generation owned store, we have learned to adapt and overcome since 1979 when Lake Havasu was a mere 16,000 population,” said Erica McCorkle, owner.

Today, the city averages 52,000 people, with an estimated 775,000 annual visitors. And the store has kept pace, playing a crucial community role in new construction as well as repair and maintenance.

“During these times, good and bad, we have always kept our customers as part of our family,” she said. “It is not uncommon during our day to day operations to have a customer drop in just to say, ‘hi.’”

McCorkle says the store was firing on all cylinders in 2020 before the pandemic hit. And then, it March the pace of business accelerated. After a near 10% gain in January, February clocked in at more than 25% growth. Then, fueled by the hardware category’s status as essential, and the phenomenon of homeowners nesting at home, and other factors, March and April broke records.

What’s the secret to those numbers? “We play hard and work harder,” McCorkle said of her 14 member team.

The pandemic has brought changes. And the store continued to adapt by implementing free local delivery, as well as curbside pick ups and contact-less shopping inside the store. How did that work? “I cannot speak for our customers, however, if their loyalty and friendliness is a gauge to our success, I’d say we have been extremely successful.”