On August 3, 2015, Alex McGehee's biggest fear as a business owner played out when the hardware side of his business went up in flames. A discarded cigarette ignited the building and burned it to the ground. But what could have put an end to the second-generation family business actually made it stronger. With the support of the Do it Best Corp. team, the store was able to reopen just three months later.

Seen for Miles Around
The small town of Silvis, Illinois, is part of the larger Quad Cities, and the news of the fire was everywhere, even on CNN. Fire crews struggled to keep it under control, and by the time it was over, 8,000 square feet of retail sales floor was wiped out and the rest of the building was a total loss from smoke and water damage. If there was a bright side, it was that suddenly, people from across the region knew the Anchor Lumber name and location, and they followed the store's progress with interest in the months following. People were impressed by the fact that Anchor's employees showed up the next morning to begin cleanup and continue serving lumber customers — without losing even an hour of work.

Collaborating On a Vision
"Alex was fully committed to getting the the new store up and running as quickly as possible," says Dave Wigent, regional store designer at Do it Best Corp. "We responded by doing everything possible to help make it happen. He had strong ideas about what he wanted in the new store, but he was also very receptive to our suggestions for ways to grow retail performance. Through collaboration, we developed a design that not only provided more space for contractor-focused services, but also opened up the sight lines to the new retail store and all its expanded product categories."

Poised for Growth
"I chose the SignatureTM Store Design program, which gave us a fresh new look along with updated fixtures and service areas," says Alex. "With a solid plan and everyone's determination, we reopened the hardware store by the end of November." Alex says that everyone loves the new store, and he's seeing a new level of customer loyalty because of what the company experienced and how it responded.

As part of the rebuilding, Anchor Lumber's exterior was updated with new signage and a streamlined entrance. Most importantly, it signals that Anchor Lumber is back and better than ever.

"My relationship with Do it Best Corp. really kicked into gear as they shared my determination to become stronger than ever. Simply put, when it mattered most, they proved themselves to be the best partner to help me grow my business."
— Alex McGehee