Company Snapshot: True Value Company
8600 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, IL 60631
Total Annual Sales:
Lyle Heidemann- President, CEO
Steve Poplawski- Senior VP Retail Operations
True Value Company is a retailer-owned hardware cooperative serving nearly 5,000 independent retail locations worldwide. Of the major retailer co-ops which Chain Store Guide monitors, True Value is ranked number three in sales behind perennial number one Ace Hardware Corp. and Do It Best Corp. Members of the True Value cooperative own their individual stores and operate independently of True Value Company.
The company was founded in 1948 as Cotter & Company by John Cotter and supported 12 original member stores. Over the years, several mergers and acquisitions within the co-op industry resulted in a significantly larger organization. This led to a company name change which was designed in part to clarify the organization’s identity and allow it to drop the cluttered nomenclature that had built up through a history of mergers. Thus TruServ Corporation emerged with its inherent superior branding.
Nearing the turn of the century an accounting scandal rocked the company. This shook public confidence and resulted in a considerable loss in membership as many frightened retailers bolted to join competing co-ops. This resulted in a change of management, a streamlining of operations and the thus far final change in the organization’s name to True Value, a name that had long been a popular company brand at the retail level.