Local hardware store personal service and advice is alive and well in Johnstown, Ohio. Since 1958, Shull’s Hardware has been committed to giving good service and advice to customers. “We try to treat people the way we would like to be treated as a person,” says owner Mike Shull.
Back of T-Shirts:
Smile – Everyday is a good day at Shull’s Hardware - Family owned and operated since 1958
If you would ask anyone in the Johnstown-area community if they have ever heard of Shull’s Hardware – chances are the answer would be a resounding YES! When we think of times gone by, we remember when we could stop in the local hardware store and buy the one bolt you needed, even if you weren’t really sure of the size. It seems like they “just knew” and had all the answers. Living in the community his entire live, Mike Shull of Shull’s Hardware is proud to keep that tradition going. In fact, he was even a member of the Fire Department at one time and put his life on the line for many years – on call 24 hours a day.
“Since 1958 we have been committed to giving good service and advice to customers. We try to treat people the way we would like to be treated as a person. Respect in this country is declining but I’m too stubborn to let that change the way we do business,” says Shull.
Shull’s Hardware began in 1958 by Mike’s father, Jack Shull, and grandfather of Lindsey Bavier. Jack’s goal was to start a business in the community that would benefit everyone. One of his other hopes was to start the beginning of a line of generations in his family to run the business. In 1975 his son, Mike, began managing the store. In 1982, Mike decided there needed to be an update and the first remodel began. Mike purchased a second side of the store in order to expand and with that he put the stamp of the second generation of the Shull’s on the hardware store.
Lindsey has been working under her father for many years as the manager and recently decided it was time to ensure the business continued on to the third generation. One of her biggest things with the remodel was to be able to include as many family members and friends as possible. For the children who could not help tear down walls, paint, etc. she allowed them to spray paint the walls with their name or pictures. Don’t let this fool you though, adults did this too. At Shull’s it isn’t all work, it’s fun and games as well.
Mike Shull has been a client of Heartland Bank for many years. After talking with Randy Kelly (manager of Heartland’s Johnstown office) for the past two years about remodeling, renovation began in February of 2012. The main goal was to be able to better serve the customers with new inventory and larger space. Merchandise numbers initially doubled and now have nearly tripled since the remodel began and it is only increasing as they are seeing even more customers (and sales).
After only ten months of construction, Saturday, November 10th was the Grand Re-Opening/Customer Appreciation Celebration. Many customers, friends and family stopped in to check out all of the changes and enjoy free hot dogs, popcorn and door prizes. When talking about relationships, Mike said, “I am a member of Do It Best Corp which is a dealer owned co-op. It has been with their guidance that we have redesigned this store to make it look like it does today. I would also like to thank Heartland Bank for going out on a limb for us. Without them, we would not be celebrating today.”
The biggest challenge over the past few years has been the competition between Big Box Stores (like Lowes & Home Depot) and retailers like Krogers, CVS, Dollar Stores, etc. Mike Shull commented, “the increased competition and customer choices have made us sit back and listen to customers’ needs and likes and to try and create a niche to bring customers to our store.” Lindsey went on to say, “people in general and communities are starting to go back to their roots and enjoy the small-town atmosphere and personal service. Hopefully that means our future looks bright and busy trying to keep up with the needs of our community.”
Technology has changed their business as well. Between their website and Facebook page they have built a whole new clientele and have been able to reach and communicate in a new way. While Lindsey takes care of the Internet aspects of the business, her father still prefers to do the books the old fashioned way (by hand). One technology compromise he’s made is getting stronger reading glasses so he can see the cell phone pictures of customers’ projects to get them out of a mess.