“Hall has it all” is not only a company slogan, but a consumer endorsement applied year after year to the inventory offerings and services found at Hall’s Hardware and Lumber in Milton. The store, located at the corner of Highway 90 and Chavers Street at one of the busiest intersections in town, really does “have it all” according to consumer authorities at both the national and local levels.
For two years in a row, Hall’s Hardware & Lumber was singled out by a significant local consumer rating group as the top choice of a place most likely to have the best selection to choose from in hardware merchandise while offering quality service to match. At the same time in 2013 Home Channel News, a National retail consumer group chose Hall’s Hardware as its top pick in Florida among all 50 states in the nation.
More proof Hall’s Hardware is a class act is indicated by a map in the store where visitors or customers pinpoint where they’re from. People from all 50 states in the nation, as well as from 14 foreign countries, have acknowledged their presence in the store at one time or another.
It really is one of the most unique hardware stores to be found anywhere. But to classify it as strictly hardware would be shortchanging what it offers the public. Its owners agree the store offers a great deal more and are proud of the heritage it is continuing to establish.
The Bill Allen family, including sons Wade and Brad, acquired the business in 1989, the store already having a reputable name in the community. They decided to keep the name and have been abundantly successful in their efforts to enhance its reputation for service, quality, and variety of merchandise and availability of hard to find items that continue to set it apart from the run of the mill chain and variety stores. It was later relocated from Chavers and Elva streets one block south to face Highway 90, moving into much larger quarters, becoming a landmark of sorts in terms of its location.
The entire Allen family has to a great extent been involved in the store’s operation and management since it was acquired, with Wade Allen overseeing its in-house operation. Over the years as the store grew, so did the responsibilities, and now Wade has a general manager of the store. “Kevin Peterson is perhaps one of our most valuable employees,” Wade said. “He’s smart and intelligent, and his management skills set him apart.”
Wade went on about the company’s growth. “We’ve evolved considerably over the years since we’ve had the store, but we’ve never tried to outgrow the old general store feeling, where customers feel comfortable. We’re known throughout the Gulf Coast for our selection of nuts and bolts and other lines that appeal to a lot of people.”
In addition to the traditional departments such as general hardware, plumbing, electrical, lawn and garden, paint, housewives and tools, Hall’s Hardware has developed one of the most interesting gift departments, featuring unique gifts different from anywhere in the area. Customers will find hundreds of unique gift ideas, including such items as lamps, ceramics, dishes candles, and decorative tin signs that will easily take anyone “…back to yesteryears” in nostalgia.
Another interesting department that has enlarged considerably over the years is Birdsville. Under the supervision of Wade’s wife, Susan, hundreds of bird feeders, feed and a variety of bird houses are in inventory. Some of the most unique styles of bird houses to be found anywhere will easily capture the imagination of anyone who is remotely interested in bird culture.
The store’s lumber department is not exaggerated, but exists in sufficiency to assist most builders. Customers will still find a wide variety of paneling, plywood, and the like.
Outside the store features a complete offering of concrete blocks, stepping stones, garden stones, lawn and garden supplies, tools for any trade, lawn and garden furniture, fountains, and most any other type of lawn and garden products designed to enhance the outdoor yard. The Garden Center or Garden Department has been added since the store was relocated to Highway 90. It is one of the largest and most complete in the area.
Incidentally, Hall’s Hardware houses a set of the world’s largest wind chimes. A large and inspiring set of wind chimes that hang in the store have been authenticated as the world’s largest by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The longest pipe in the chimes set is eight feet long and all pipes are five inches in diameter. The set was produced by Music of Spheres in Austin Texas. Susan says the wind chimes were discovered at a trade show and were brought in as a way to attract attention to the variety of wind chimes being offered at the store. They weigh in at just over 200 pound and took four employees and special equipment to deliver.
If you are a Halll’s shopper, then you already know how convenient and complete the store is and what a great crew awaits to assist. If you haven’t, you have a treat in store for yourself. Parking is not a problem, and the store is open on Sunday for customer convenience. If by chance they can help you in any way, you are welcome to give them a call at 623-4622.