Stars shine in Conn., Del. and Fla.
State by state, meet the STIHL Hardware All Star class of 2019
The tradition began in 2011, when Home Channel News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, recognized 50 Hardware All Stars — one hardware store, home center or building supply dealer from each state. The tradition continues in 2019, with an all-new class of STIHL Hardware All Stars.
It’s a class as deserving of recognition as any that preceded it. The 50 stores here represent all that is stellar in home improvement retailing. To varying degrees, they support local and national charities, experiment with merchandising and store design, differentiate themselves from competition, invest in their facilities and their people, and generally serve their communities like All Stars.
Here are three more examples of All Star performance:
• Welden Hardware
The Welden “team” includes the owner, store manager, the college kid, and two canines (Jasper and Tucker). Owned and operated by John and Melissa Brett since 2004, Welden Hardware has served Farmington Valley for 130 years as the oldest, continuously operating hardware store in Simsbury. It’s How-To videos on everything from spring lawn and equipment tips to combating ethanol have become must-see TV for loyal customers. “We pride ourselves on those videos,” Melissa said. “We live here, we work here, we are active members of the community. We want to help our neighbors.”
• Wagner Hardware
Months away from extinction in 2015, Wagner Hardware got a new lease on business life in a new location and has flourished ever since. “People are finding us, and once they do, they keep coming back,” owner Chuck Wagner said. Wagner Hardware has its own private line of bird food and stocks 100 signature Pennsylvania bird feeders and houses. It is also known for its assortment of grills and special services like sharpening. “We do things the boxes don’t do, and neither do a lot of others stores. We go the extra mile; we’ll carry your purchase out to the car for you.”
• Bell & Bates Home Center
For 85 years, Bell & Bates was home to the country’s oldest locally owned hardware business until owners Mark and Patsy Bates donated the 1912 Bell & Bates building to the Gadsden Arts Center. Bell & Bates continues to thrive in its new location in Quincy; this Benjamin Moore signature store has an extensive inventory, including automotive products, work boots, and animal health offerings. Bell & Bates also offers a UPS drop-off and shipping center on its premises and provides power tool service and repair.
Check out the digital All Star issue here.
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