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Nominations Now Open for the 2023 Beacon Awards

This year’s Hardware Conference, set for August 18-20, 2023 at the JW Marriott in Marco Island, Fla., will give independent retailers a chance to gather in person and share ideas with fellow dealers. The 35th annual Hardware Conference will again be highlighted by the Beacon Awards, a recognition program that was introduced in 2013.

The Beacon Awards, which are co-sponsored by The Hardware Conference and The Hardware Connection, are designed to honor the “best of the best” independent hardware/home improvement retailers while encouraging a new generation of retailers to make their mark in the industry. On Friday night, the industry will honor the 2023 winners.

Beacon Award winners will be honored at the 2023 Hardware Conference in Marco Island, Fla.

Beacon Award sponsors for 2023 include Epicor Software Corp., Ettore Products and Fluidmaster. Wholesaler sponsors are Do it Best Corp. and Orgill Inc.

The 2023 Beacon Awards will again honor the Retail Beacon Award winners for each of the participating wholesalers, plus the Best New Stores in two categories: under 20,000 square feet and over 20,000 square feet. Whether it’s an existing retailer opening a branch store or a newcomer opening a ground-up business, these new stores represent the future of the industry.

The honorees and sponsors of the 2022 Beacon Awards.

Here are last year’s Beacon Award honorees:

Best New Store, Under 20,000 sq. ft.—Hometown Hardware, Senoia, Ga., owned by Phil and Deanna Cheeves.

Best New Store, Over 20,000 sq. ft. —Vassar Building Center, Vassar, Mich., owned by Mike and Brenda MacKay.

Retail Beacon Award—LaValley Building Supply, Newport, N.H., owned by Larry and Nancy Huot.

Retail Beacon Award—Ivey’s Building Materials, Houghton, La., owned by Mitch and Pam Johnson.

Get your nominations in now for the Best New Store award, as the deadline of May 5 is fast approaching. Retailers can nominate their own stores and nominations are accepted from wholesalers.

Judging will be based on any or all of the following criteria: financial performance (sales, profits, margins); community involvement; store design; merchandising displays; promotion activities; specialized product areas/niches; employee training/recognition programs; and innovative retailing concepts.

Store must have been open at least one year, to a maximum of four years. It can be a store built to replace one destroyed by natural disaster and it can be a branch store. Store must feature all the core departments: electrical, plumbing, tools, hardware, paint and lawn & garden.

The 2023 Beacon Awards Banquet will be held Friday night, August 18, 2023 at the JW Marriott in Marco Island, Fla. Honorees will receive: all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2023 Hardware Conference in Marco Island including conference registration, airfare, hotel and meals; Beacon Award plaque and feature article in The Hardware Connection.

To Complete Nomination

Please include detailed information for each of the judging criteria, attach any relevant pictures, list the date of new store opening and also provide retailer name, store name, square footage, address, phone number and email address. Email nominations by the May 5 deadline to Editor Chris Jensen at

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