CHICAGO - True Value Company recently recognized 13 True Value hardware stores, selected from each of the co-op's retail regions, as winners of its sixth annual "Best Hardware Store in Town" international recognition. Karen and Bernie Duggan of Horn's True Value in Sayre are one pair of the winning retailers honored at True Value's 2013 Spring & Rental Market, held in Atlanta from Feb. 23 through Feb. 25.

Celebrating 100 years in business this year, Horn's True Value is a real family affair. The store has grown from a laundry service founded in 1912 to a 20,000-square-foot retail hardware store that continues to meet the needs of its community today. Since Karen Duggan's great grandfather and great uncle started the business, the family has always shown its commitment to the Valley and its surrounding communities.

"Four generations and 100 years later, here we are, strong as ever being pillars in the community," Karen Duggan said.

The store prides itself on its friendly and knowledgeable employees who greet each and every customer who walks through the door.

"We try to assist everyone with purchases, guide them in their projects and encourage them to try something new," Duggan said. "We tell our staff that every customer who comes in the store is their employer, and we need to do all we can to help them. Without our customers, Horn's is nothing."

In addition to its customer service approach, Horn's has the products that people need. With such a large retail space, the store is continually growing and changing departments to upgrade core items and adapt to customer needs. It offers an array of niche markets, including Just Ask Rental, a small engine repair shop, a JC Penney Catalog store, a large toy department, UPS service and computer color matching.

"My motto for 30 years has been, 'If we don't have it, you probably don't need it anyway,'" Duggan said.

That motto seems to have paid off, along with their connection to the community. Whether it's their involvement with the chamber of commerce, the historical society, the Salvation Army or many other organizations, Horn's True Value strives to take care of its people.

"Our whole goal in life is to take care of our community," Duggan said. "Whether it's in times of need or just everyday life."

Sponsored by True Value Company, the "Best Hardware Store in Town" program is designed to recognize retailers who exemplify successful retailing. Stores were self-nominated, or nominated by peer or retail manager and went through a series of selection processes until regional managers narrowed down the top candidates. Mystery shoppers then visited each selected store to gain a customer's perspective. Stores were evaluated based on physical appearance, product selection, competitive pricing, promotional sales and customer assistance.

"Horn's True Value provides the best shopping experience for its customers," said Lyle Heidemann, president and chief executive officer of True Value Company. "They consistently deliver on the five principles of successful retailing: people, place, product, price and promotion.

And when they do that, they meet customers' needs and expectations, creating a profitable and sustainable business."

True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world's largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives with sales of $1.9 billion in 2011. The True Value cooperative includes approximately 4,600 independent retailer locations worldwide, operating under the store identities of True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply. Additional information on True Value Company and its retail identities is available at www.truevaluecompany.com.

Submitted by True Value Company