CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2013 – From California to Florida to Maine, True Value continues to help lift men and women out of the past half-decade's economic slump, by giving local entrepreneurs the financial step up to the American dream of opening a hardware store — to the tune of $25.5 million in loans and another $38.5 million in loans to refresh current stores.
In 2013 alone, 22 new True Value stores opened, another dozen are in the pipeline, and so far 32 True Value stores remodeled to the co-op's proven retail format, Destination True Value. In all size neighborhoods, from rural to suburban to urban areas, this year, True Value added 220,000 square feet of new and another 318,000 square feet of refreshed hardware retail space nationwide.
"We are committed to the success of the independent hardware retailer. Their dream is our dream," said John Hartmann, president and chief executive officer of True Value. "That's why we empower business owners and provide the tools and financial support for them to successfully start or refresh a hardware retail store."
During the co-op's national convention, taking place this weekend at Chicago's McCormick Place, True Value will demonstrate this commitment. A record number of independent True Value business owners, suppliers and associates are anticipated to attend the show, and will hear from fellow retailers and True Value leadership, shop an expansive array of product, and set their sights on 2014 and beyond.
But each store is much more than a dream come true for the owner. Small businesses are the bedrock of the U.S. economy, bolstering local economics through jobs and tax revenues. In fact, the average new True Value hires between eight and 10 associates and generates about $1 million in revenue. For every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, about $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city’s tax base, according to consultancy firm Civic Economics.
"To set these men and women up for success, we believe in investing in their future by providing the essential skills, capital and mentoring that small businesses need to grow, create jobs and build prosperous communities," Hartmann added. "I think that’s why, despite the fluctuating economy, we are focused on meeting customer demand. Through our education, financial, marketing and retail support, independent retailers of the True Value hardware co-op are finding long-term, successful businesses in hardware store ownership."
According to Hartmann, these local business owners, or "localprenuers," often become the hubs of their communities, supporting local little league teams, joining the chamber of commerce or supporting local charities.
True Value invests in the entrepreneurial success of independent business owners through a variety of ongoing programs, three of the largest being loans and financial incentives, a contemporary retail format and regularly scheduled time to reconnect:
- For today's entrepreneur, external financing is affordable, but often difficult to secure. That's why True Value provides financial incentives and competitive, low-interest loan rates and options to reduce the financial hurdles associated with opening a store. True Value can provide up to 75 percent to 80 percent of the cost of opening a new retail location, providing substantial financial support and leaving only a small percentage of financing up to the retailer. And to galvanize owners to remain competitive and relevant in their local markets, financing packages for as much as 100 percent of the cost of a remodel are available to current stores.
- Both new and current True Value retailers find ways to remain up-to-date and relevant with the co-op's Destination True Value (DTV) retail format. By incorporating best practices in retail, merchandising and store décor, the DTV format appeals to traditional hardware customers, as well as female and Gen-Y shoppers. The format's modern, competitive design helps drive increased sales and is a one-stop shop for all products, expert advice and inspiration shoppers need to complete their Do-It-Yourself projects.
- The co-op approach to retail provides independent hardware stores with buying and marketing power options, access to buying trends and industry insights, as well as camaraderie and community.
"Our retailers, like many business owners, are committed to their communities. And we’re committed to them," Hartmann said. "There is a strong place for the independent retailer in today's economy and True Value is behind these stores 100 percent, providing knowledge, support and the co-op's strong backing to ensure their success."
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.