True Value Company

8600 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, IL 60631



Year Founded:

Total Annual Sales:
$1,411 billion

Senior Executive:
John Hartmann- President and CEO


It is hard to believe that fifteen years have passed since disclosures of corporate accounting irregularities approximating $100 million, emerged from the company then called TruServ.  This resulted in a loss of $131 million and a hard fall for corporate stock prices.

Over the next three years, many retail members chose to leave the co-op for the safer havens of Ace Hardware and Do it Best.  At the time, industry pundits wondered if TruServ could indeed survive.

Over the years True Value has struggled with tepid annual member revenue and has long distantly trailed market leader Ace and is even well behind the more aggressive Do-It Best.  Last April True Value’s long time President and CEO Lyle Heidemann announced his retirement after eight years at the helm.  He stepped down in May to be replaced by John Hartmann, while Heidemann stayed on until year’s end as an adviser.

Approaching the end of his first year in office, Mr. Hartmann seems to be a more communicative leader, stressing the co-op’s challenges and approaches to solutions.  Annual sales at the end of his first half year in office were down about 25 percent.  This of course reflected a year significantly under the supervision of Hartmann’s predecessor.  With better communications enunciating the co-ops challenges, it is hoped for a considerable uptick in member’s successes.