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PRO Group Recognizes Outstanding Retailers

PRO Group Recognizes Outstanding Retailers

Business acumen, creativity, innovation, passion and service are just a few words that could be used to describe three home improvement businesses recognized by Denver-based PRO Group this year.

For achieving retail success and upholding the principles and ideals of effective hardware retailing, PRO Group awarded its annual Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award, which is named after PRO Hardware founder Paul L. Cosgrave, to Yates Home PRO. PRO Group also recognized BDK Feed & Supply and PRO Hardware
as the 2017 Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award Finalist.

Additionally, both companies and Grandview Lumber PRO Home Center were named 2016 PRO Retailers of the Year.

“These three companies represent the best of PRO dealers,” says Shari Kalbach, vice president of PRO Group. “In selecting the winners, we consider sales, operations, management, merchandising, PRO identification and more, and these retailers are at the top in those areas. We’re proud of these businesses and are so pleased to honor them this year.”

Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award Winner and PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year
Yates Home PRO
Tellico Plains, Tennessee

What do you get when you mix a full line of products, superior customer service and strong community ties? Yates Home PRO.

In 2011, Overia Yates Russell and her husband J.R. took over her family’s business. Proud to offer the same one-stop shop service Russell’s father began in 1967, the Russells have positioned Yates Home PRO as a top home improvement business in its marketplace today.

They attribute a great deal of their success to their relationship with and loyalty to PRO Group and Wallace Hardware Co., which began at Yates Home PRO’s inception.

“As a family-owned and -oriented business, we are proud to provide services and products to our community, including a full line of hardware, clothing, hunting and sporting goods, automotive supplies and much more,” Overia Russell says. “We take customer service very seriously. At Yates, we not only strive to achieve customer satisfaction, we guarantee it.”

With several big-box competitors nearby, Yates Home PRO goes above and beyond to win customers’ loyalty. All employees complete extensive online product knowledge training through the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and are conditioned to always welcome customers with a smile and greet them by name whenever possible.

“The most unique aspect about Yates is its personality and how closely knit it is to the community it serves,” says Richard Snowden, senior vice president of marketing for Wallace Hardware Co. “Customers are viewed as friends and treated with respect at Yates. The company has been serving its market for 50 years.”

The company strengthens its bond with customers by treating them to annual events like customer appreciation days with food and entertainment and Santa visits during the holidays. Yates Home PRO proved its dedication even more by installing a hitching post and watering station for Mennonite customers’ horses and installing a pay phone on store property for their use.

In addition to home improvement needs, the Tellico Plains community counts on Yates for niche products such as camping gear, fishing equipment, guns, knives and pool supplies. Other categories offered include housewares, home appliances, lumber supplies and all materials needed to complete an interior remodel. The community also counts on Yates Home PRO for services like key cutting, tire installation and custom paint mixing.

To keep customers informed, Yates Home PRO uses marketing tools, including circulars, monthly promotions, mobile texting specials and a variety of other advertising methods.

The company further supports its community by sponsoring local sports teams, fire and police departments, colleges and other civic organizations.

Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award Finalist and PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year
BDK Feed & Supply and PRO Hardware
Blanchester, Ohio

A favorite among pets, livestock and two-legged customers alike, BDK Feed & Supply and PRO Hardware has developed strong ties to its community by continually meeting customer needs and supporting its town in countless ways.

When it comes to pets and livestock or home improvement, the staff at the 10,000-square-foot store is ready to provide Blanchester residents with whatever products they need and is committed to delivering top-notch service.

“For BDK, the customer always comes first,” says Ben Obee, sales representative for The Bostwick-Braun Co. “It’s a very hands-on store that’s deeply involved in the community. Whenever a customer comes in with questions about a project, they’ll research what the customer needs.”

Owner Darrell Kingsland makes sure his team is able to provide customer service by holding weekly meetings with his staff and setting weekly goals. Additionally, several times per year, he hosts an extensive meeting where the staff reviews new products, discusses the upcoming season and makes merchandising decisions.

For Kingsland, it’s important that BDK Feed & Supply is always clear, easy to shop and attractive to customers. He rotates endcaps monthly based on seasonal needs and sales trends. For example, in the spring, the store sells 1,500 to 2,000 chickens. During that season, endcaps house products for feeding and caring for chicks.

“What’s impressive is that Darrell is always looking to grow, but he never bites off more than he can chew,” says Damian Nicholson, regional sales manager for The Bostwick-Braun Co. “Darrell has always responded to what the community needs and has grown steadily based on those demands.”

Kingsland knows his DIY and professional customers well and is always looking to grow his inventory. He always considers customer requests and typically introduces 30 to 50 new items each week.

The store also gives back to its community. It sponsors scholarships for high school students and contributes to fundraising efforts for local high school sports teams,
4-H students, Boy and Girl Scout troops and more.

PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year
Grandview Lumber PRO Home Center
Grandview, Washington

Grandview Lumber PRO Home Center in Grandview, Washington, is the 2016 PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year for Horizon Distribution Inc.

“Grandview Lumber was awarded 2016 PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year because they are an outstanding supporter of all PRO Group programs,” says Mike Dawson, sales manager for Horizon Distribution. “They continuously show strong sales and growth, and they are dedicated to serving their community.”

The store prides itself on being able to provide supplies for any kind of building project. Grandview Lumber is considered the strongest source for lumber and building materials in its area and is also known for its robust paint department.

Owner Cliff Lewis has built an operation supporting local contractors and serious DIY customers. In 2016, the company proved its commitment to the community by building and opening a brand new facility. Lewis and his staff look forward to serving Grandview for years to come.

About Hilary Welter

Hilary Welter
As the member services and communications coordinator, Hilary contributes to all member-focused communications efforts. She assists with communication aspects of member recruitment and retention and contributes to the marketing of member programs and benefits. Additionally, she is the voice behind NRHA and Hardware Retailing social media accounts. Hilary is currently working remotely while traveling abroad, tapping into the international hardware markets along the way. To follow her adventures, visit www.hardwareretailing.com/NRHA-Abroad starting August 1, 2016.