Lenexa, Kan.-based Westlake Ace Hardware, one of the country's leading independent hardware retailers and a company reaping the benefits of a top-to-bottom reevaluation, has been named "2011 Retailer of the Year" by Home Channel News.
The company will accept the award May 11 at the Golden Hammer Awards breakfast event in Las Vegas, held in conjunction with the National Hardware Show.
The 88-store Midwestern hardware retailer revamped its structure, its focus and even its mission statement as part of its Project North Star program.
"Westlake Ace Hardware has been known throughout the industry as a great operator," said Ken Clark, editor in chief of Home Channel News. "And the company's pursuit of excellence through Project North Star is one of the bright examples of leadership in hardware retailing today."
The wide-ranging strategic initiatives of Project North Star include an increased focus on home repair and maintenance, the creation of a specialized lawn and garden merchandising division, updated paint and tools departments, and a tagline of "Small projects. Big know-how. Ask away."
The company's Project North Star began with strategic planning back in 2009 and led to the development of a clear, steady vision for the company, according to CEO George Smith. "All of these things working together have had a very positive impact on our business," Smith said.
The Golden Hammer Awards breakfast event will also include the Home Channel Hall of Fame induction of Larry Stone of Lowe's. For more information about the event, contact Home Channel News.