But throughout the year, along with all the nuts and bolts that hold our lives together, True Value Hardware in Prescott matches its special promotions to the seasons, said Suzanne Andre-Springer, president of the store that has been around since 1982.
Looking ahead to spring, Andre-Springer says that is the prime time for demonstrations. “Usually at the end of April, we bring in vendors to display their wares and show how to do things,” she said. They demonstrate how to do drip systems, how to use garden tools and how to spruce up gardens.
“In the summer, we have the Grill Zone, outdoor furniture and a large selection of barbecues. We have everything for outside like wind chimes, spinners, anything to decorate your yard and stuff like weed and feed and weed eaters. There is help getting evaporate coolers ready for summer and advice how to use power tools or how to plant a garden.”
In the fall, the business helps residents get ready for winter with insulation for pipes, doors and plastics for over windows. “We have more heaters than you can shake a stick at,” she said.
In addition, the store has the “best staff on the planet,” said Andre-Springer. Staffers are experts in their field, with more than 150 years of combined experience.
For example, the staffer in the plumbing department was a plumber. If a customer is having trouble doing something, employees are ready to help. “They will show you how or walk you through it over the phone,” she said. “That is the backbone of our store and has been since my dad took over. We have the best customer service, bar none.”
Prescott True Value Hardware has been a tradition for more than 30 years. “I am second generation. My parents [Ben and Jane Andre] started it in 1982,” she said.
Her father, who had been a store manager for Sears, jumped at the chance to buy his own business. His years at Sears taught him the value of customer service and that has continued to be a major pillar of the business.
“Mom was instrumental in the housewares department we have now,” Andre-Springer said.
In the 1980s, when microwaves became popular, she not only offered them, she put together cooking classes that attracted customers. Because customers did not have to drive two hours to Phoenix to shop, more microwaves were sold at True Value in Prescott than in any other True Value store on the West Coast!
“Mom made the home store a destination,” she said. “She did a lot of things to promote it. We have the largest collections of cooking gadgets, just about every gadget known to cooking.”
Through the years, a bridal registry has been added.
Andre-Springer paid her dues by providing hands-on labor during summers off from school. She stripped paint off shelves, pulled shingles off walls, and painted fixtures and walls.
Still, the hardware business didn’t appeal to her. “I didn’t feel like this was something I wanted to do.”
But in 1990, her parents put in a computer system and they needed someone to run it. She stepped in. “It snowballed from there and I have been working here for 23 years.”
In 1994, the business moved to its current location at the old Cornet building, trading in 12,000 square feet for 24,000 square feet, then adding a warehouse with a new total of 30,000 square feet.
“We are kind of a tourist destination. You can find things here you can’t find anywhere else,” she said. “We are unique.” QCBN
Prescott True Value Hardware is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 846 Miller Valley Road.
For more information, call 928-445-6422.
Quad Cities Business News