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The True Value Company is an American wholesaler with over 4,600 independent retail locations worldwide.[3]

True Value Company
IndustryHardware stores
FoundedChicago, Illinois, U.S (1948 (1948), as Cotter & Company)
FounderJohn Cotter
Number of locations
Over 4,600 [1]
Key people
John Hartmann (President & CEO)
RevenueDecrease US$1.488 billion (2017)[2]
Increase US$ 40.16 million (2017)
Increase US$ 24.75 million (2017)
Total assetsDecrease US$ 912.88 million (2017)
Total equityDecrease US$ 160.4 million (2017)
Number of employees

A number of different retail identities are supported by True Value Company, including True Value (hardware and home center stores), Grand Rental Station, Party Central, and Taylor Rental (equipment and party rental), Induserve Supply (commercial supplies), Home & Garden Showplace (nursery and garden center stores) as well as affiliate stores that purchase from True Value Company but do not use any of the national store identities.[4]

The wholesaler supports its retailers through 13 regional distribution centers and approximately 2,500 associates in over 60 countries.[1] The corporate headquarters are located in the O'Hare neighborhood of Chicago.[5]


True Value Company traces its roots to four hardware cooperatives and a hardware wholesaler: American Hardware & Supply (ServiStar), Coast to Coast Corporation, Cotter & Company (True Value), and the Midwest-based Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Company.[6]

A worker enters a True Value lumberyard in New Dorp, Staten Island, New York City, New York. The lumberyard shut down in 2009.

Cotter & Company was established in 1948 by John Cotter with 12 original member stores. The cooperative grew in membership and in 1962 Cotter & Company purchased the assets of Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Company for $2.5 million, acquiring the True Value trademark for $2500 as part of the acquisition.[6] ServiStar Hardware (formerly American Hardware Supply) had previously purchased Coast to Coast Hardware[6] and had renamed itself to Servistar & Coast to Coast Hardware. Their hardware stores were operating under either ServiStar or Coast to Coast retail identities. In 1997 they merged with Cotter & Company to form TruServ Corporation.

During a 1999 audit, accounting irregularities of about $100 million were discovered originating from pre-merger Cotter & Company, leading to a $131 million loss that year causing the value of TruServ stock to plummet.[6] During this tumultuous period (1999–2001), a number of hardware stores chose to leave TruServ to join competing hardware cooperatives (Ace Hardware, Do It Best). TruServ Corporation brought in new management, eliminated the ServiStar and Coast to Coast brand names, and streamlined operations by closing many of the regional distribution centers. In 2006 TruServ Corporation was renamed True Value Company.

In 2018 an international private equity investment firm, ACON, entered into an agreement with True Value and accelerated the long term strategy to support independently owned retailers by returning the majority of the invested capital. This partnership enabled these retailers to utilize the freed capital to invest back into their businesses thus resulting in an exponential increase in new growth.[7]

In 2019 True Value announced the opening of its first all new custom designed distribution center in over 30 years. The new warehouse is a 1.4 million square foot facility servicing over 1000 stores located in Hanover Township, Pa. and is set to open in the fall of 2019. This update comes as True Value has grown and expanded the number of businesses it serves after the majority of the company was purchased by ACON in 2018. Along with the new distribution center True Value has also adopted the "hub-and-spoke" model along with new software that will allow all warehouses to operate extremely efficiently through forecasted inventory models.[8]

ACON InvestmentsEdit

ACON Investments, a diversified international private equity investment firm, entered an agreement in order to accelerate True Value’s strategy to better support independent retailers in 2018. Under the terms of the agreement, ACON made a strategic investment in True Value. ACON’s investment resulted in current True Value retailers having 70% of their invested capital, 100% of their promissory notes and the 2017 Patronage Dividend repaid following close. This represents approximately $229 million in returns and credits to current True Value retailers, who also retained a 30% holding in the new True Value Company. This change was made to return the majority of invested capital to hardware owners and give them a stake in the new True Value by not requiring any new investment or national advertising fee while retaining the on going day-to-day benefits and retaining access to a nationally recognized brand.[9]

General Paint & ManufacturingEdit

True Value owns its paint manufacturing plant known as General Paint & Manufacturing (GPM) and also manufactures paint for a variety of other companies. GPM was established in 1922. The factory in Cary, IL became operational in April 1976. The facility manufactures latex paints, oil based paints, stains and aerosols exceeding 7,300,000 gallons annually. GPM also manufactures a complete line of jansan/cleaning chemicals. The 575,000 square foot facility has diverse manufacturing capabilities in one location [10]

In July 2018, it was announced that the True Value EasyCare Ultra Premium Acrylic Latex paint earned the Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification [11]

Home & Garden ShowplaceEdit

Home & Garden Showplace is the garden center store identity of the True Value Company. It was started by ServiStar to help build their lawn and garden sales. Today there are over 260 Home & Garden Showplace stores across the United States. Each store is independently owned and purchases merchandise through the True Value distribution centers and buys from many quality growers of plants through various True Value buying programs.

Other affiliatesEdit

Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, and True Value Rental are the rental store identities of the True Value Company. Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, and Party Central are all standalone, independently owned franchises. Today there are over 400 of these stores across the United States. These stores purchase merchandise both through the True Value distribution centers and directly from certain manufacturers. True Value Rental is the in-store rental program found in many True Value Hardware stores across the country.

Induserve SupplyEdit

Induserve Supply is the MRO store identity of the True Value Company. Induserve Supply is a network of independent commercial, industrial and MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Operations) suppliers, as well as many True Value retailers, providing products that are essential to the ongoing maintenance of small businesses, major institutions, universities, local and national level government offices and much more.

House BrandsEdit

True Value's Green Thumb, Master Electrician, Master Plumber and Master Mechanic brands are made by many different manufacturers worldwide. They are manufactured to company specifications and are sold exclusively by True Value member stores, including True Value, Home & Garden Showplace, and other affiliates.

TruServ CanadaEdit

The roots of the Canadian affiliate TruServ Canada go back to the Stedman's chain founded in 1907 in Ontario, and the Macleod's chain of Western Canada founded in 1917. Together they became Macleod-Stedman Inc. in 1964. In 1992 Macleod-Stedman became Cotter Canada. When Cotter in the US changed its name to TrueServ 1997, so did the Canadian affiliate. Since 2001, the American chain no longer owns any stake in TruServ Canada.


  1. ^ a b "True Value Company > Home". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  2. ^ "2017 Annual Financial Report" (PDF). March 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Store Count, True Value Company store count
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Terms of Use." True Value. Retrieved on January 6, 2010. "True Value Company Customer Service 8600 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago, IL 60631"
  6. ^ a b c d "True Value Compan". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  7. ^ "True Value Company and Acon Investments Announce Strategic Partnership To Accelerate Transformation of True Value Business > True Value Company". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  8. ^ Smith, Jennifer. "True Value Retools Hardware Supply Chain". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  9. ^ "ACON Investments to invest in hardware retailer True Value". March 16, 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  10. ^ "GPM – Expertly Crafted. Within Reach". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  11. ^ Program, asthma & allergy friendly Certification (July 27, 2018). "Low-Odor Paint Offers a Healthier Solution for Your Home". Retrieved 11 August 2019.

External linksEdit