HCN is once again congratulating the 50 hardware store, home center and farm & ranch retailers who made the annual HCN Hardware Store All-Star list.
Now in its third year, HCN's annual list of high performers recognizes hardware stores -- one from each state -- that are outstanding in their field. The complete list and analysis can be found in the September issue of HCN. Meanwhile, HCN Daily will work its way across the country with mini profiles, starting here in the West with Alaska, Hawaii and California.
• California: The subject of a fiercely loyal customer base in the East Bay area, Pete’s Ace Hardware in Castro Valley illustrates the value of strong leadership. Owners Linda and Jeff Roark have seen to it that their customers find everything they need upon entering their store, including exotic services such as dog training for the disabled and a Rent a Husband service for in-home fixer-uppers. Moreover, Linda (who took over the family business from her father) was honored as the top businesswoman in her community – and still, somehow, manages to find time to make lunch for her employees.
• Hawaii: There's nothing like a store with a niche, and Lahaina Ace Hardware serves the creative side of its community well with two dedicated art supply aisles. The requisite friendly staff with reliable camping know-how puts a crowning touch on a store serving the islanders' needs.
• Alaska: Anchorage True Value Hardware does more for its namesake city than its neighboring big-boxes, and that's good news for the mom and pops of the world. Customers cited the helpful, knowledgeable staff as the primary factor that keeps them loyal, as well as the store's actual point-of-sale loyalty program.
Washington, Oregon and Idaho profiles will be published Friday. For the full list, click here.