Scottdale True Value: Hardware Store and Community Hub
Just west of Kalamazoo, Mich. sits Scottdale True Value, owned and operated by third-generation hardware business pro Doug Landers.
The store has become a community hub and known for helpful, hometown service.
“We have fun and want to be a friendly place to shop,” Landers said. “I said I’m going to be part of this community, make connections and people are going to know who I am. I’m not some conglomerate from out of town.”
Landers has decades of hardware experience with a variety of wholesale providers, and he was nervously excited about taking on this new project. Scottdale True Value had been a beloved local spot as Pater True Value but the previous owner was ready to retire.
“Everybody knows that store. It was a major news story that it was closing,” he said. “We go down there and go in, and customers were almost in tears – there was such a connection. A friend said ‘Doug, you gotta buy this place.’”
Doug reached out to his contacts at True Value to start the conversation about possibly taking over the store. This would be his first True Value branded store.
“I still don’t know how it happened!” Landers joked. “True Value has a brand and I feel at home with True Value. It makes me excited about the hardware business again. There are pretty loyal people in the hardware business but we had felt lost in the shuffle. We‘re glad to be part of True Value, with wonderful people and a hometown feel.”
The store is 19,000 square feet, with a full paint department and color match machine, as well as a spot to promote other local businesses. It started with two young women baking and crafting, and now has turned into a hub for a dozen women-owned vendors to connect with the community.
Doug said he likes the flexibility to run his store to serve his customers, with the ability to find his niche.
“I’ll help someone in the store and they’ll say, ‘Oh I just live around the corner, we’re so glad you’re here!’ and it seems like everyone is just around the corner,” Landers said. “So, I say that help is always just around the corner!”