Since 2007, when True Value Company began the Best Hardware Store in Town competition, the co-op has recognized nearly 60 stores for delivering the best shopping experience for its customers.
It all comes down to the five principles of successful retailing: people, place, product, price and promotion. When retailers deliver on the five Ps, they meet the needs and expectations of customers, creating a profitable and sustainable business.
The winners are announced every year during our annual Spring and Rental Market. Watch the 2011 video now. br>
B&C True Value Home Center
Grass Valley, Calif.
B & C True Value Home Center was founded in 1940 by Leland and Faye Fowler. Today, Fowler's grandchildren Greg and Gary and their cousin Kim Janousek and her husband, Tom Janousek, run the store. It remains in its original location and has grown to nearly 37,000 square feet. With deep ties in the community, they have built a reputation for providing expert advice and outstanding customer service. That expertise comes from experience, something B&C has in abundance. In fact, one employee celebrated his 38th year with the store in October.
Contact: Greg Fowler (530) 273-6105
Berger True Value Hardware
In 2004, the original owners sold the business to the Rubeo family. Brother and sister Aimee Nichols and Chris Rubeo, along with cousin Christina Liberati, describe Berger as a store that provides all the conveniences and selection of a big box retailer with a hometown feel. In January 2011, Westchester Magazine named Berger's the “Best Hardware Store of the Decade” and last summer, 914 Inc. Magazine featured the store in the article, “David vs. Goliath Businesses, Berger Hardware vs. Home Depot.”
Contact: Aimee Nichols (914) 769-2400
Blue Point, N.Y.
Tony Brinkmann and his wife, Pat, expanded the 4,800 square foot original store soon after they purchased it in 2004, and completed a renovation in 2010 that added 6,200 square feet. The Brinkmann's children Hank, Ben and Mary Neimeth, manage the business today, differentiating themselves from the competition by offering outstanding customer service. Store associates are trained to greet customers warmly and accompany them to the product area for their specific project needs. Store hours accommodate even the busiest shoppers, and with a convenient downtown location, Brinkman’s has become a shopping destination in Blue Point.
Contact: Hank Brinkmann (631) 589-2335
Central True Value
Moncks Corner, S.C.
This small town store got its start in 1976, when Elwood and Joan Housand established the business values that would see the store through three expansions, a move, and more than 35 years of continuously improving the facility and operations. The store moved to its current location in 2001, and today the Housand's children, Lynn, Greg and Kevin, are all involved in the day-to-day aspects of the business. Kevin and his wife, Patricia, now own and run the store.
Contact: Kevin Housand (843) 761-8588
Geiger True Value
Geiger opened its doors in the 1930s, and has been a community fixture ever since. Associates greet customers by name and offer superior service and quality products. According to Tom and Maria Geiger, success is about “going the next step and helping our customers understand how to finish a project.We tell them what they'll need, and they leave the store knowing more than when they first walked in the door.” The store's low turnover (the average employee stays with Geiger seven years) means that associates have superior product knowledge and customer service skills.
Contact: Tom Geiger (309) 274-2860
Gorham’s True Value
Originally founded in 1934, Gorham's has moved and expanded over the years, growing into its current location of 40,000 square feet. One of the first international True Value stores to embrace the Destination True Value format, Gorham's averages nearly 8,000 sale transactions a week. Owner Andrew Mackay maintains his competitive edge by striving to be efficient and innovative. He has one employee dedicated to visiting the competition and comparing prices on the most visible items; a nightly restocking team works 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. to replenish merchandise and displays throughout the store; and the business boasts approximately 80,000 SKUs.
Contact: Andrew Mackay (001) 441-295-1550, ext. 142
Horton’s True Value
Duane and Betty Horton bought Horton’s in 1992, and Duane’s sister, Linda Bailkey, has worked there for the past 18 years. Customers shop at Horton’s not only for the product selection and superior service, but for expertise. Duane is known as the “answer man” who can solve almost any problem a customer comes in with. Duane believes in empowering his employees – telling them to do whatever it takes to make it right for the customer.
Contact: Duane Horton (715) 924-3692
Hoy’s True Value
Sweet Home, Ore.
Hoy's unique history began when it opened in the 1930s. John Mahler purchased the business in 1971, and since then the store has moved locations and grown from 2,500 square feet to 16,000 square feet. Now owned by Greg and Teresa Mahler, the store often surprises customers with its selection, which includes yarn, health and beauty products, notions and housewares. The clean, well-lit store creates a positive work environment, and Greg’s and Theresa’s employees have clearly defined goals that include engaging every customer who walks into the store.
Contact: Greg Mahler (541) 367-2221
Lake Isabella True Value
Lake Isabella, Calif.
Steve and Maryellen Spradlin’s store, which recently remodeled to the DTV format, offers an expanded product assortment and a number of niche departments. Long-term, friendly sales associates make the store a welcome place for new and returning shoppers. To ensure shelves are well stocked with the breadth of products that customers need, Steve and his staff regularly shop the competition. As Steve says, “Everything else is irrelevant if you don't have the product.”
Contact: Steve Spradlin (760) 379-9183
Lott True Value
Randy and Haley Allen’s Lott True Value is a third-generation hardware store that began in 1977 with just 2,500 square feet. Today the store, which converted to the DTV format in 2010, boasts more than 10,000 square feet of retail space focused on core hardware departments. Allen attributes strong customer loyalty to his dedicated staff and his wide product mix. If a particular item isn’t carried in-store, Lott's employees will find a source for the item.
Contact: Randy Allen (940) 937-2002
Red Lodge True Value
Red Lodge, Mont.
Founded in 1987 in a 4,000 square foot rented location, today Red Lodge True Value sits in a 10-year-old, green building of nearly 15,000 square feet. Owners Ken and Debbie Awes run their business based on the philosophy of treating customers like guests in a home. To broaden its customer base the store expanded its lawn and garden department with a green house, added Benjamin Moore paints, major appliances, Just Ask Rental, a large sporting goods department and toys. The environmentally sensitive store also earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Contact: Ken Awes (406) 446-1847
Shore True Value
Somers Point, N.J.
Paul Giunta and his sister, Alison Dannehower, represent the third generation to own Shore True Value that their grandfather started in 1963. In the course of the store's 47-year history, Shore has undergone several expansions and three major remodels, including a change to the DTV format last summer. Paul and Alison understand the importance of promotion; in addition to standard advertising practices they have tapped into social networking, using Facebook to get information out quickly to their loyal following.
Contact: Paul Giunta/Alison Dannehower (609) 927-6464
Strasser True Value
Kansas City, Mo.
Strasser’s is an 85-year-old company located in the heart of Kansas City. Founded by Lou Strasser, LeRoy Andrews and John VanHengel, today the store is run by Leroy and John, together with Jill Gates. Strasser’s occupies an entire city block and caters to contractors as well as do-it-yourselfers. The staff’s goal for complete customer satisfaction, and low employee turnover means that shoppers receive expert advice from friendly, knowledgeable associates who take great pride in their work.
Contact: LeRoy Andrews (913) 236-5858
Titusville True Value
Dave Sample’s and Dan Donahue’s Titusville True Value celebrated its Grand Opening in May of 2010, attracting 2,000 new customers in just three days. The store has already become a fixture in the community, receiving impressive accolades with the Chamber of Commerce's “Best New Business Award” in 2010 followed by the Titusville Harold's “Best Hardware Store” award in 2011. Store manager Bill Ernst, a hardware veteran with more than 15 years of experience, often visits customers' homes to give advice on their projects.
Contact: Dan Donahue (814) 827-2200
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