CHICAGO, Feb. 22, 2014 – True Value Company knows it has the best of the best when it comes to independent hardware retailers. The co-op recently honored 13 of its members, selected from its retail regions around the world, as winners of its seventh annual Best Hardware Store in Town international recognition program. The winning retailers took the spotlight at True Value's 2014 Spring & Rental Reunion, held in Atlanta, Feb. 22-24.
“These are talented business people who work incredibly hard to bring their communities the best service and shopping experiences possible,” said John Hartmann, president and chief executive officer of True Value Company. “They are partners and supporters of their communities. They believe in their people. They represent the best of True Value. And they truly are the best hardware stores in town.”
Each year since 2007, the co-op has used the Best Hardware Store in Town program to recognize member stores that are concrete examples of successful retailing: stores staffed with knowledgeable associates focused on customer service; stores that are clean, competitively priced, and well-promoted; stores that are easy to shop and well-stocked. Essentially, stores that provide customers with an experience worthy of the True Value brand are honored.
Winning store owners nominated themselves or earned a nomination from a peer or retail manager. Each winner went through a series of selection processes until regional managers narrowed down the top candidates. Mystery shoppers then visited each selected store to gain a customer's perspective. The co-op evaluated each finalist based on physical appearance, product selection, competitive pricing, promotional sales and customer assistance.
The 13 winning retailers honored in Atlanta for 2013:
- Kenny Yuja and Kenny Jose Yuja, Agencia La Mundial, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Adam Schoelkopf and Douglas Childs, Bedford True Value Hardware, Bedford, N.Y.
- Rick and Glenda Billman, Billman's True Value, Cut Bank, Mont.
- Scott Clifton and Jim Fontana, Canon City True Value, Canon City, Co.
- Brenda Burke and Zack Mullen, Carey's True Value & Rental Outlet, Penn Yan, N.Y.
- Jeff and Al Bunge, Cedar Lake True Value Hardware, Cedar Lake, Ind.
- Chris and Jason Cleaver, Cleaver Farm & Home, Chanute, Kan.
- Monica Evans, Troy Foster and Melissa Swank, Foster True Value Hardware, Mariposa, Calif.
- C.C. and Julie Gibbs, Gibbs True Value Hardware, Grayson, Ky.
- DeWayne and Melia Tripp, Hinton Hardware, Hinton, Okla.
- McRae True Value Hardware, Ashland, Wis.
- Jimmy Gilchriest and Ed Iveson, Ransom Brothers True Value, Ramona, Calif.
- Mitch and Randi Epstein, True Value Hardware, Denville, N.J
True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world's largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives. The True Value cooperative represents independent retailer locations worldwide with retail sales in their communities totaling approximately $5.5 billion. Store identities include True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply. Additional information on True Value Company and its retail identities is available at www.truevaluecompany.com.