A True Value retailer was among the seven retailers honored as Beacon Award winners for 2018 during the 2018 Hardware Conference, which took place September 7-9, 2018, at the JW Marriott in Marco Island, Fla. The Beacon Awards are a premier national industry awards program developed by The Hardware Connection magazine and The Hardware Conference to recognize the “best of the best” independent hardware/home improvement retailers.
The 2018 Beacon Awards are sponsored by Apex Tool Group, Epicor Software Corporation, Rust-Oleum and Sunnyside Corporation, with wholesaler sponsorship support from True Value Company and other wholesalers.
The Beacon Awards, now in their sixth year, honored the Retail Beacon Award winners for each of the four participating wholesalers, plus the Best New Stores in two categories: under 20,000 square feet and over 20,000 square feet.
“This year’s Beacon Award winners are an outstanding group of retailers. They all share similar traits of operating well-merchandised stores with unique niches and strong community involvement,” stated Chris Jensen, editor/founder/principal of The Hardware Connection, the hardware industry’s leading digital publication.
What follows is an overview of True Value’s retail honoree:
Retail Beacon Award—Handyman True Value Hardware, Florissant, Mo.
In 1961, Ken and Kathleen Otto fulfilled a lifelong dream by purchasing their own business, Pine Lawn Hardware & Appliance in North St. Louis County. The store was a cornerstone of the community, servicing the hardware needs of North County.
Several years later, Ken and Kathleen Otto had a desire to expand and build from the ground up. They choose the city of Florissant, specifically Lindbergh, which at the time was a two-lane road surrounded by farmland. In 1967, they opened the first Handyman True Value Hardware, providing hardware and customer service to a rapidly growing community.
Celebrating over 50 years of operation, Handyman True Value now operates two stores in Florissant and a third location in Oakville, Mo. Today, sons Dave and Glenn Otto are continuing the legacy of service. Dave’s son Brian and Dave’s daughter Christine represent the third generation of the family involved in the business. Jason Fank, son-in-law of Dave Otto, manages the Oakville location.
The stores average 32,000 square feet. An expanded lawn and garden department features over 1,500 square feet of live goods, and lawn and garden generates 45 percent of sales.
Handyman True Value’s Oakville location was honored as the overall winner for True Value’s Best Hardware Store in Town for 2018, True Value’s top honor for retailers. Each of the three Handyman True Value stores has been honored as Best Hardware Store in Town for True Value’s Kansas City regional distribution center.
Handyman True Value contributes to schools and churches and makes a difference in lots of big and small ways. They have been active in the Chamber of Commerce for 35 years and Dave Otto has served on the local hospital board for 15 years.
“It is gratifying to be honored with the Beacon Award for our performance,” says Dave Otto. “Every day we’re honored that customers make us their number one destination and keep coming back for their hardware needs.”