Stars shine in Kan., Ky. And La.
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 examples of All Star performance with three dramatically different business models:
• Waters True Value
Small town Wamego is big on heart and Waters True Value exemplifies that spirit through its community actions including True Value Foundation’s Painting a Brighter Future program in which a half-dozen Kansas schools received a paint refresh. This Best Hardware Store in Town recipient is now in its sixth generation (run by Jim Waters) and is recognized by residents for it workshops on subjects ranging from beekeeping to composting. Waters True Value has seven locations across Kansas and keeps connected with customers through Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
• Jones Home Center
It’s all about community for Jones Home Center which hosts an annual Ladies Night that highlights local vendors and craftsmen who sell their handmade goods to the 200-plus guests —or about one-third the entire population of Upton (681, per 2010 census). “It’s one of our biggest events of the year,” said Heather Jones, whose father-in-law started the business in 1977. “We get people to come out who didn’t know we we’re here.” Jones also hosts a Wellness-on-Wheels program and does fundraisers for the Addison Jo Blair Cancer Bar Unit at Norton Children’s Hospital. Jones makes wooden American flags (4-foot x 3-foot) entirely in-house which they proudly promote as Made in the USA.
• St. Landry Lumber
St. Landry owner Austin Perkins vowed that if he ever built a new lumberyard, he would have a sporting goods section to go along with it. Today Austin Outdoors is a sportsman’s paradise for everything fishing and hunting related. As for the lumberyard? “I love the challenge that the lumberyard presents. Usually in the wintertime, it’s cold and rainy, and most of the jobs can’t get going because of the weather. That’s where the sporting goods really carry the lumberyard. And then, vice versa in the spring, summer, and fall.” St. Landry Lumber dates to the 19th century and is one of the oldest businesses still operating in Opelousas.
Click here to see the full class of 2019 all stars.
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