Wausau Pilot & Review

Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing christina@wausaupilotandreview.com.

This week’s featured Wausau-area business is Charlie’s Hardware & Rental, established in 1957 by Charles Kyhos. At Charlie’s Hardware, 504 Hwy. 153 W. in Mosinee, customers know they’ll find an enthusiastic team that can help them get any job done right. It’s not just what they have in stock, it’s who they have on staff, working to address a range of needs from room renovation to plumbing installation and much more. Whatever your project happens to be, Charlie’s has the right tools and rental equipment to make it happen. They’ll answer your questions, service your tools and power equipment and provide the appliances, tools, hardware, building materials, lawn equipment and sporting goods you need. With a certified plumber on staff as well as a small engine repair department, this locally-owned and operated store offers knowledge and expertise – an area where big box stores can’t possibly compete. Owners Jeff and Pam Kyhos are dedicated to their customers and firmly believe that service makes all the difference. Here’s what Jeff Kyos, president of the company, had to say about this family-owned central Wisconsin gem, which is named for his grandfather who started it all.

Q: Tell us about your business. What products or services do you offer?

A: Charlie’s Hardware prides ourselves on customer service.  We offer sales on appliances, sporting goods, power equipment, lawn and garden, plumbing, hardware and a seasonal greenhouse.  

We are proud to offer full in-home plumbing service which includes well inspection, pump and water heater installation, remodeling, new construction, water treatment systems, as well as, in-home plumbing inspection for real estate sales.  We have a full time Master Plumber on staff.

Our power equipment sales department proudly offers full service on Ariens, Honda, Simplicity, Snapper, Stihl and Toro brands from certified technicians.

We also offer key cutting and re-keying, saw sharpening, pipe cutting and threading, computer paint matching, window and door screen repair and UPS shipping service.

Q: What makes your business unique? What sets you apart?

A: The array of products that we offer in-store, our customer service and our knowledgeable staff.  When you come into Charlie’s Hardware, you will get exceptional customer service.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing?

There are not many small town hardware stores that have survived the last decade or two, especially with online shopping and big box stores.  We have been fortunate with a great customer base that has been loyal and continues to support us!  This past year we expanded our showroom space to offer even more products to our customers!

Q: How have you changed and evolved over time? What’s different now from when you first started?

A: We evolved by adding product categories and departments that we saw a need for in the market.  Every year is different and we are always looking to see what our customers want or need.  I think what is the biggest difference since I started is how fast product launches happen and trends change.  Customers can get updates and new item information before its even presented to us as retailers.

Q: What challenges have you had to overcome? Basically, if you had it to do all over again, would you do anything differently?

A: Biggest challenge has been trying to stay relevant to customers needs and wants.  If you don’t have it someone else does and trying to decide whether or not to stock items.  

Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where is Charlie’s Hardware headed?

A: I hope to keep providing great service in an industry that is telling us it doesn’t matter.  We believe it does matter and want to expand product mixes to help create the best shopping experience Central Wisconsin has to offer.

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