Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce
This Week Feature
Swedish Days--June 14-16
True Value Store Changes Brands To Ace Hardware
Customers stepping into the former True Value store this spring to buy fertilizer for their yards or tools to complete their honey-do lists, will see a few changes.
Svoboda's True Value is now Svoboda's Ace Hardware.
The new brand means customers can find many of the same quality products as before with a few new options, like Craftsman tools and Clark & Kensington paint, which was recently rated the number one paint by a leading consumer magazine.
"We want the store to continue to grow and be viable for the community," owner Dan Svoboda said about one of the reasons for the change.
His wife and co-owner, Cindy Svoboda, said Ace Hardware also has better name recognition and national advertising strategies.
"Ace advertises on the radio and TV more than True Value did," she said. "I feel like I'm getting better advertising money out of what I'm spending."
The Ace loyalty rewards card should be a benefit to customers as well. Customers can earn points each time they make a purchase and will receive a $5 coupon for every $250 spent.
The Svobodas first got into the hardware store business in Holdrege when they purchased the Coast-to-Coast store in downtown Holdrege in 1995. They built a building and moved to their current location at 205 West Fourth Ave. in 1999. Then Coast-to-Coast merged with True Value so the name was changed in 2000. The Svobodas independently own the hardware store. After much research, they decided that the Ace Hardware cooperative was the direction they wanted to take to grow their business for the future.
"We had a discussion about where we were going to be five or ten years for now and what coop is going to best support the store in the next five or 10 years," Dan said.
They felt that answer was Ace Hardware. The official change to Ace was on March 11. The Svobodas chose not to advertise the change at that time because there's still a lot of work to be done with the transition.
But customers have noticed as the new signs popped up on the outside of the store.
"I've seen new faces," Cindy said. "I've had people come in and say I've never been in this store before."
Cindy said the change has been good but overwhelming considering it happened while going into their busy season.
"May is our busiest month," Cindy said. "It's our Christmas."
Ace Hardware employs eight others besides Dan and Cindy with three of those being full-time. One employee, Donna Beaudette, has been with the store for 26 years.
Cindy said that during this time of year, customers have questions about their yards and gardens or paint or repairs that their employees are comfortable answering.
Customers can find out about sale prices and monthly Red Hot Buys in the direct-mail flyers or on the web site at www.acehardware.com.
The store is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. on Sundays.