Two Do it Best Members Honored with Beacon Awards
September 2018 — Two Do it Best members were among seven retailers honored as Beacon Award winners during the 2018 Hardware Conference, which took place September 7-9 at the JW Marriott in Marco Island, Florida. The Beacon Awards are a premier national industry awards program developed by The Hardware Connection magazine and The Hardware Conference to recognize the “best of the best” independent hardware/home improvement retailers.

The Beacon Awards, now in their sixth year, honored the Retail Beacon Award winners for each of the four participating wholesalers, plus the Best New Stores in two categories: under 20,000 square feet and over 20,000 square feet.

“This year’s Beacon Award winners are an outstanding group of retailers. They all share similar traits of operating well-merchandised stores with unique niches and strong community involvement,” stated Chris Jensen, editor/founder/principal of The Hardware Connection, the hardware industry’s leading digital publication.

Best New Store, Under 20,000 sq. ft.—Agricola Hardware & Lumber, Lucedale, Mississippi
Brenda Massey and her son Elliott celebrated the opening of a new, much larger Do it Best store in 2016. Their retail journey began in 1999, when the family purchased a rundown hardware and LBM store in Lucedale that had recently closed. They revitalized the business but were held back by a 5,000-square-foot sales floor. Working with store planners from Do it Best, the Masseys ended up with a new 14,000-square-foot showroom that enabled them to expand existing categories and introduce new ones like lawn and garden, farm and ranch, outdoor power equipment, flooring, appliances and paint. Sales increased nearly 20 percent in 2017 in their first full year in the new location and were continuing to expand in 2018.

Retail Beacon Award—Gillman Home Centers, Batesville, Ind.

In 1962, Carl Gillman founded Gillman Brothers Lumber in Brookville, Indiana. His son, Charlie, was the only one of 10 kids interested in joining him in the lumber business. Charlie opened his own lumberyard in 1980 and after acquiring two stores in August 2018, Gillman Home Centers now operates 12 Do it Best stores in Indiana and southwestern Ohio. Charlie’s retail strategy is to locate stores in small towns, carry a deep product selection, price aggressively and offer unmatched customer service. Charlie’s son, Curtis, serves as COO, while his son, Travis, is special projects manager. Company sales have doubled over the past five years.