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Hardware store all-stars: Iowa, Kansas and Kentucky

The May issue of Home Channel News compiled the first-ever state-by-state Hardware Store All Star list. Here are three more of the 50: standout stores from Iowa, Kansas and Kentucky.

• Iowa
Bomgaars
With 59 stores spread across the upper Midwest, Sioux City, Iowa-based Bomgaars is a classic family owned retailer that opened an impressive 10 stores last year, expanding its footprint into Colorado and Wyoming. Not your typical hardware store, Bomgaars’ major departments expand beyond paint, hardware and tools and include farm, pet, clothing and footwear. 

• Kansas
Westlake Ace Hardware
In early 2010, this 88-store hardware chain based in Lenexa, Kan., reexamined its business model and revamped its service standards through a Project North Star optimization program. One result is a new tagline reflecting commitment to service: “Small projects. Big know-how. Ask away.” Another is the rollout of 25 Lawn and Garden Centers this spring. It appears to be working. Same-store sales increased 3% last year, and are running at an increase of 4.5% so far this year. 

• Kentucky
Brownsboro Hardware & Paint
Brownsboro Hardware has been recognized by Do it Best as a high-performance independent that competes and wins against some tough home improvement competition in suburban Louisville. The store is Kentucky’s largest Weber Grill dealer. How? By working at it constantly. “Whether it's Dec. 3 or July 3, we roll those grills onto our sidewalk every day,” owner Jim Lehrer said. “And that has become kind of a billboard for us.” A second location, this one in Prospect, Ky., opened in April.

Coming Thursday: Louisiana, Maine and Maryland.


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