PRO Hardware, Inc. recently honored a group of home improvement retailers with the distributor’s annual Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial and PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year awards.
This year PRO recognized Kraus Department Store and PRO Hardware of Erie, Pa., as the 2013 Cosgrave Memorial Award winner and Congleton Bros. PRO Home Center of Beattyville, Ky., as the Cosgrave Award finalist. Also, 2012 PRO Retailer of the Year awards went to Welches, Ore.-based Welches Mountain Building Supply and Dixie PRO Hardware of Montgomery, Ala.
The Cosgrave Award recognizes the superior commitment a retailer makes to the principles and ideals of effective hardware merchandising developed by PRO Hardware founder Paul L. Cosgrave.
Read on for more information about each winner:
Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award Winner
Kraus Department Store and PRO Hardware, Erie, Pa.
Edward Kraus built Kraus Department Store in 1886. Today, it remains in the same three-story brick building and attached single-story space. Through the years, Kraus passed the store down to family members. Tom and Joe Nowosielski have worked in the store since childhood along with their mother, Lou Ann, taking on a larger role after their father’s death.
Kraus is constantly filled with customers who know that whatever they need—from the most obscure to the most common item—is located among the store’s 100,000-plus inventory items.
Kraus has received its share of praise over the years. The Erie Times-News, Time Warner Cable and other sponsors recently honored Kraus Department Store with the “2012 Commitment to Erie” award.
The Bostwick-Braun Company is Kraus’ wholesaler and PRO Hardware distributor.
Pete Georger, vice president – dealer sales, with The Bostwick-Braun Company, said legacy and excellence reign supreme at Kraus Department Store.
“Kraus Department Store is showing no sign of slowing down. They are facing today’s economic issues with a business strategy that incorporates experience and vision,” he said.
Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award Finalist
Congleton Bros. PRO Home Center, Beattyville, Ky.
Congleton Bros. opened its doors more than 90 years ago as a furniture store. Founder Gentry Congleton expanded services to include feed and seed, hardware, embalming, undertaking and even funeral directing.
Today’s president, Terry Congleton, and his wife, Lynda, are equally adept in catering to customer demand. When a local lumberyard closed, Congleton Bros. started selling lumber. When customers asked for rental equipment, the store opened a rental department. ATV’s, off-road vehicles, building supplies, power equipment, appliances, roofing and shingles and more can now be found at Congleton Bros. as well.
The flexibility of the store’s merchandise mix also helped it weather the start of the recession, meanwhile aggressively increasing online sales through congletonbros.com.
“It’s easy to build a thriving business in a strong rural or urban market where there are plenty of people. It’s another story when you are in a small town. Terry and Lynda have carried out the rich history of the store and responded to changes in the market by investing in the future,” said Richard Snowden, senior vice president with Congleton’s PRO distributor, Wallace Hardware Company located in Morristown, Tenn.
PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year
Welches Mountain Building Supply, Welches, Ore.
Welches Mountain Building Supply in Welches, Ore., is the 2012 PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year for Horizon Distribution. Owners Rochelle and Bill Simmonds have made a good habit of exceeding customer expectations while finding ways to constantly connect with customers and the community.
“They are involved in every aspect of their small community on the mountain,” said Mike Dawson, Horizon Distribution’s retail division manager out of Yakima, Wash. “If you follow them on Facebook, you will notice they recognize customers’ birthdays. They fully support the PRO program with circulars and bargains of the month, and they are the number one user of our PRO Rewards Club.”
PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year
Dixie PRO Hardware, Montgomery, Ala.
Dixie PRO Hardware of Montgomery, Ala., is the 2012 PRO Retailer of the Year for Birmingham, Ala.-based distributor Long-Lewis Hardware Co.
When owner Billy Johnson was looking for a way to create a better shopping experience and build business through a creative marketing campaign that served his loyal customers’ needs, he looked to PRO Hardware.