Hardware Retailing

JAN 2019

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING 41 RETAILER PROFILE Nelson True Value Finds Success With Distributor Family Business Focused on the Future W hen Fred Nelson was ready to retire from retail ownership of the store he had owned and operated since 1954, he didn't want to see the business come to an end. In his search for a new owner, he wanted to find someone excited about the opportunity, and ideally, someone who had children who might show interest in one day running the business. So when Nelson approached Roy Kanis about taking on ownership of Nelson Agri-Center True Value in Viroqua, Wisconsin, in 1989, Nelson was confident the business would have a bright future. Roy's son Dan Kanis graduated from college and began working as a sales representative for an agriculture company. In 1995, Nelson's hope of a family leading his store forward became a reality when Dan entered the retail operation alongside his father and their manager and minority business partner, Mark Brueggen. In 1998, Roy, Dan and Mark invested in a second hardware store about 50 miles away in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, which they renamed Nelson True Value. Many more changes and updates have influenced the operation since then, but now, Dan's son Jacob is the next in line to lead the Nelson True Value operation. Growing the Business While Dan was excited about Jacob or any of his children joining the family business, he knew he wanted them to attend college and get work experience outside of the store before making that commitment. Jacob pursued his education and began his career with Menards and United Rental before returning to the business. According to Jacob, these jobs gave him an inside look at what worked and didn't work in retail and rental. DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE SERIES

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