Golden Hammer Awards to be Held as a Breakfast at 2011 National Hardware Show

Apr 21, 2011

Golden Hammer Awards to be Held as a Breakfast at 2011 National Hardware Show

(Norwalk, CT, April 21, 2011) – Departing from a long-standing tradition, the Home Channel News Golden Hammer Awards will be held as a breakfast during the 2011 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. The honorees will include Westlake Ace Hardware as Retailer of the Year; Price Hardware True Value as winner of the Tools of the Trade Award; and Larry Stone, outgoing president and chief operating officer of Lowe’s, as the latest inductee into the Home Channel Hall of Fame.

The Golden Hammer Awards, traditionally an evening ceremony, will be held Wednesday, May 11, from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The ceremony will include breakfast, the announcement of Golden Hammer product winners, Stone’s induction into the Hall of Fame and a Retailer Award Panel discussion.

“The Home Channel News Golden Hammer Awards have received an extreme makeover,” said Ken Clark, editor of Home Channel News. “The time has changed, the content has been improved, but the tradition of recognizing the best of the best in home improvement remains the same.”

Stone, 59, has served as president and COO of Lowe’s since 2006 and is responsible for store operations; merchandising; marketing; logistics and distribution; merchandising and store support; as well as Lowe’s Canadian operations. He began his Lowe’s career in the stores in 1969 and has served in virtually every leadership position within store operations, merchandising and store environment. Stone, a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development, has also served on the board of directors of Dick’s Sporting Goods since May 2007. The Hall of Fame induction is sponsored by MSA Safety Works.

“After 42 years in the business, it is an honor for me to be recognized by the industry I grew up in and grew to love,” said Stone, who will retire from his position at Lowe’s on June 2. “That only happens when you have the chance to work for a company with great leadership and great people.  I am so appreciative that Home Channel News has chosen to honor me with this award.”

Lenexa, Kan.-based Westlake Ace Hardware, one of the country's leading independent hardware retailers with 88 locations, will accept 2011 Retailer of the Year honors. The company’s Project North Star program put forth initiatives like an increased focus on home repair and maintenance, the creation of a specialized lawn and garden merchandising division, updated paint and tools departments and a tagline of “Small projects. Big know-how. Ask away.”

"We are very honored and proud to be selected as the Retailer of the Year. It is a testament to the work we've done over the last year and a half implementing our North Star strategy,” said George Smith, CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware. “Project North Star is grounded in our Mission, our Brand Promise, and our Core Values and Code of Conduct. Our mission, ‘Westlake helps homeowners keep their homes running smoothly by providing the right combination of expertise, customer service, products and resources that delivers a noticeably superior customer experience,’ encompasses our key strategies. All of our efforts and initiatives are focused on achieving this mission and we are beginning to see the results. Receiving the Retailer of the Year award is a wonderful recognition of those efforts.”

Price Hardware True Value of Atlanta, Texas, which has invested in a major store expansion and has made efforts to attract female shoppers, is the winner of the Tools of the Trade Award. “We were looking for a retailer who showed confidence in the future, outside of the box thinking and bold moves to compete in today's marketplace -- those are the tools of the trade,” Clark said.

The Retailer Award Panel part of the program will discuss trends in home improvement retailing, also giving attendees a sneak peek at the Home Channel News Top 300 Report. On the panel this year are Westlake’s Smith, Craig Cowart of Marvin's (2010 Retailer of the Year) and “Tools of the Trade” winner John Price of Price Hardware True Value.

To register for The Home Channel News Golden Hammer Breakfast at the National Hardware Show, contact Kristen Frost at or call 203.840.5467. The event is free for retailers and distributors, and exhibitors can attend at a cost of $125.

About The National Hardware Show®
The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning 67 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War II housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s to today's current location in Las Vegas, the National Hardware Show® continually evolves through the industry's involvement, commitment and passion to improving America's quality of life through their homes. Today, the National Hardware Show® is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to unveil their new products, ideas and insights to a broad spectrum of home improvement resellers.
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