Do It Best Hardware is a well-known American based hardware retail chain. With over 4,000 stores worldwide, Do It Best has bridged the gap between manufacturers and consumers across different continents. Although the hardware chain is a popular, universal name, many individuals might not know the company's ownership structure. This article will discuss the origins of Do It Best Hardware and highlight the individuals and groups responsible for its management.
Do It Best Hardware had its origins in 1945 in the town of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Several hardware store owners in the area banded together to form a cooperative that would allow them to source products collectively and reduce operating costs. The Fort Wayne Hardware Association (FWHA) was thus created. At the start, FWHA was more of a buying group that enabled hardware store owners to benefit from bulk purchasing. However, as membership skyrocketed, the group's mandate transformation evolved into a full-scale retail operation dubbed Do It Best Hardware in 1966. More and more members joined, and the association went from strength to strength as it expanded its product line, diversified its service offerings and revolutionized retail operations.
Who owns Do It Best Hardware? Do It Best Hardware is a cooperative run by members who sit on the board of directors. Instead of profiting from the company's success, members receive a portion of the company's profits in the form of rebates and dividends. The company's cooperative structure sets it apart from other large American hardware chains such as Home Depot and Lowe's. These chains, unlike Do It Best, are publicly-traded firms with standard corporate structures.
The cooperative structure at Do It Best Hardware offers a level of unique benefits not experienced by the average shareholder. Firstly, all members sitting on the board are store owners who are passionate about hardware retail and are experts in their areas of operation. These individuals, who understand the market's ins and outs, have a vested interest in ensuring Do It Best Hardware's success. Secondly, the organization's non-standard structure shields cooperative members from the volatility of sales and unforeseen market dips. During challenging economic times, shareholders in larger corporations might see a drop in stock prices or reduced profits. In contrast, Do It Best Hardware members are more likely to be cushioned against these market fluctuations, making the cooperative structure an attractive selling point for hardware storeowners who might be skeptical of the joint venture's efficacy.
It's also worth noting that Do It Best Hardware has Divisional Service Centers (DSCs) located all over the country. These facilities are responsible for sourcing products from different regions and delivering them to stores located in the same general area, ensuring a speedy and reliable supply chain that benefits all members.
Finally, Do It Best Hardware's management is spearheaded by Ben Skoog, the organization's current President and CEO. Skoog has been part of the Do It Best family for over 20 years, previously holding various managerial positions within the organization. Before he took the reins, Bob Taylor served as the cooperative's President and CEO for over 23 years, making him one of the longest-serving executives in the organization's history.
Do It Best Hardware's cooperative structure is a testament to the ingenuity and selflessness of its founders. It provides members with financial and operational benefits unmatched by corporations with different ownership structures. The company's success and longevity are founded on mutual support, collaboration and dedication, hallmarks of a strong cooperative. In a world where traditional business structures have been upended by digital advances and innovative business processes, Do It Best Hardware stands out as a beacon of hope for business owners seeking a stable and reliable business partnership.