Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
April 4, 2012     The New Era Paper
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April 4, 2012

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LILLH!IIL !]E !I!![JJLT!IL[J=]ILk! W2[ILt, U3J I!!Ei[]]]|IJ}JIII}IiLII|I[Illn.J]RRU!3LI ! J!!!i LJL !F!lk!2.]Jl? '. I;: !!l :: [!J!i ] i;  _liLJ I, II :"Jh;] A_jil i i]1,! |t!!Ul!lllllllilllUlllli,lPPlilIN!!ll . I ! ;IT T ra - April 4, 2012 i " , VOuR COMNUNITV Page 11 Hoy's honored as national 'Best Hardware Store' By Scott Swanson Of The New Era Sweet Home's Hoy's Hardware hag been recognized as one of 12"Best Hardware Store in Town" honorees by True Value Hardware. Manager Greg Mahler and his wife Te- resa received plaques during a presentation at True Value's 2012 Spring & Rental Market, held in Orlando, Fla., in February. Sponsored by True Value Company, the "Best Hardware Store in Town" program recognizes retailers who exemplify success- ful retailing. Since 2007, when it began the competition, the co-op has recognized nearly 60 Stores for delivering the best shopping experience for customers. The company focuses on the five principles of successful retailing: people, place, product, price and promotion. When retailers deliver on the five Ps, they meet the needs and expectations of customers, creating a profitable and sustain- able business. Stores are self-nominated, or nominated by a peer or retail manage r, and go through an aggressive series of selection processes as regional managers narrow down the top can- didates. Hoy's was nominated by Ed Walsh, a retail consultant based in Oregon City, who serves this region. Mystery shoppers visit each store se, lected as a finalist four separate times, at different times during the day and week, to gain perspective as typical customers. Stores are evaluated based on physical appearance, product selection, competitive pricing, pro- motional sales and customer assistance. "H0y's True Value Hardware represents what it takes to exceed customer expecta- tions," said Lyle Heidemann, president and chief executive officer of True Value Compa- ny. "They continue to succeed by constantly recognizing and adapting to meet the differ- ent needs of the communities they serve and by delivering the best in a shopping experi- ence." Hoy's and the other 11 winners were selected from nearly 8,000 stores associ- ated with True Value throughout the world, and Hoy's was chosen from some 300 in the region, which stretches from Montana to Alaska. True Value Co., headquartered in Chi- cago, is one of the world's largest retailer- owned hardware cooperatives with sales of $1.8 billion in 2010. True Value independent retailers worldwide operate under a variety of names: True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Gar- den Showplace and Induserve Supply. "There's some big players in our region," Walsh said. "There are 30,000-square-foot stores and 2,000-square-foot stores. There are stores thathave been open 100 years and stores that have been open one year, and ev- erything in between." . Mahler, who has managed the store for five years after taking over for his father John, said he was "really surprised" to re- ceive the honor. "They really rolled out the carpet for us," he said. "It was a nice experience." Mahler said Walsh informed him that Hoy's had been nominated late last fall and was interviewed by a company merchandis- ing manager. "That was the last we heard of it until December, when they told me we were one of the finalists," he said. "They told us there would be some visits from mystery shop- pers." As it turned out, he said, the mystery shoppers had already been to the store by that time. Mahler said he received a copy of their report, which indicated that his store had been rated at "about 95 percent." "The next thing I know, we got a call that we were a winner," he said. In addition to award plaques, the store gets special name tags for its personnel, shirts for employees, a dinner certificate so the staff can celebrate, a perpetual trophy to honor employees month by month and other goodies. Hoy's will also get write-ups in a Greg and Teresa Mahler, center, receive awards recognizing Hoy 's Hardware store as one of the nation's "Best Hardware Store in Town'" honorees by True Hardware, represented by CEO Lyle Heidemann, left, and Brian A. Webb, chairman of the board, right. number of national hardware retailing maga- zines. "It's quite a prestigious thing," Mahler said. "It was a great experience. It takes all of our store staff to make it happen. It's not just individual, it's a team effort. Without our team, we would not have-achieved the success we have. I'm very proud of the store staff we have here arid we're making sure they're sharing in the recognition with us." Hoy's opened in the 1930s under the name Johnson Meyer. The store originally featureda dirt floor and eventually operated in tandem with two other hardware stores. John Mahler purchased the store in 1971 and, since that time, the store has changed loca- tions and grown from 5,000 to 16,000 square feet. For a time, the store moved from gener- al hardware to variety goods when it became part of V&S Variety. After Wal-Mart established itself in Leb- anon in the early 1990s, the store returned to its hardware roots, but you can still find some variety items. According to Greg Mahler, customers are often surprised with the store's product selection. "We're unique in that we still carry yam, health and _beauty products, notions, and housewares," he said. "In addition, we also stock camping and sporting goods, fishing supplies and all your basic hardware needs. In the past couple years We've added a pro- pane filling station and building materials. People can literally find everything they want in our store. They don't expect that." Walsh said small hardware stores "often get lost in the shuffle" and he wanted to make sure that didn't happen to Hoy's, which is why he nominated the store for the award. "Businesses like that are under-appreci- ated," he said. "That vas my main motiva- tion for doing that. "They've been excellent retailers for 40 years. They have to stay in business, but they take into consideration the community. There are bigger stores, flashier stores, more dynamicpersonalities, but it's stores like Hoy's that keep communities running." Mahler said staffmembers"engage every customer who wal into the store. Our goal is to provide the best products at a fair price and the best customer service possible." True Value also noted the "positive work environment the owners have created for their employees. "They've established clear, well-defined goals that everyone strives to achieve every day. The bar is set very high for Hoy's staff," a company statement said. "We'd never ask them to do something that we wouldn't do ourselves," Mahler said. He said the award was particularly sweet for John Mahler. "He was ecstatic," Greg Mahler said. "After all the years of hard work and sweat, it's about time he got some recognition and kudos for his efforts. It was a surprise but it was an honor. It was well-deserved, espe- cially for him." Photo by Scott Swanson Hoy's employees, from left, Dave Anderson, Randy Petersen, Jill Mahler, Fred Dodge, Shannon Miller and Tony Avila are getting a variety of rewards from True Value for their store's being selected one of the top hardware stores in the nation. They'll receive a dinner, special name tags, shirts, a dinner certificate, and a perpetual trophy to honor employees month by month, among other honors.