The True Value Company is an American wholesaler.[1]

True Value Company, L.L.C.
True Value
Company typePrivate
IndustryHardware stores
FoundedChicago, Illinois, U.S. (1948; 76 years ago (1948), as Cotter & Company)
FounderJohn Cotter
Number of locations
4,500+ (60 countries)[1]
Key people
Chris Kempa (CEO)[2]
RevenueDecrease US$1.488 billion (2017)[3]
Increase US$ 40.16 million (2017)
Increase US$ 24.75 million (2017)
Total assetsDecrease US$ 912.88 million (2017)
Total equityDecrease US$ 160.4 million (2017)
OwnerACON Investments
Number of employees
2,500 (2019)[4]

The True Value Company uses several different retail identities, including but not limited to True Value, Grand Rental Station, Party Central, and Taylor Rental, Induserve Supply, and Home & Garden Showplace.

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

Historically it was a cooperative owned by retailers,[6] but in 2018 it was purchased by ACON Investments.[7]



True Value Company was originally made of four hardware cooperatives and a hardware wholesaler: American Hardware & Supply (ServiStar), Coast to Coast Corporation, Cotter & Company (True Value), and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.[8]

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 (formerly led by Adolphus C. Bartlett) for $2.5 million, acquiring the True Value trademark for $2500 as part of the acquisition.[8] ServiStar Hardware (formerly American Hardware Supply) had previously purchased Coast to Coast Hardware[8] 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.[9]

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.[8] 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, purchased True Value.[7][10]

In 2019 True Value announced the opening of a new 1.4 million square foot facility servicing over 1,000 stores located in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. It was set to open in the fall of 2019 to accommodate the new businesses it was serving after being purchased by ACON in 2018. Along with the new distribution center True Value also adopted the "hub-and-spoke" model.[11]

On November 1, 2022, True Value acquired the Agway Trademark from Agway Farm & Home Supply.[12]

General Paint & Manufacturing


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, Illinois, 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.[13]

Home & Garden Showplace


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 growers of plants through various True Value buying programs.

Other affiliates


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. In addition to True Value stores there are over 400 affiliate 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 Supply


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 for small businesses, major institutions, universities, and government offices.

House brands


True Value's Green Thumb, Master Electrician, Master Plumber, Lawn Chief 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 Canada


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. The companies merged in 1964 to form Macleod-Stedman Inc., and in 1992 Macleod-Stedman became Cotter Canada. Cotter's Canadian and US divisions changed their names to TrueServ in 1997. Since 2001, the American chain no longer owns any stake in TruServ Canada.


  1. ^ a b c "True Value Company > Home". Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "True Value Company Announces CEO Transition" (Press release).
  3. ^ "2017 Annual Financial Report" (PDF). March 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "True Value". Forbes.
  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. ^ "True Value announces buyout deal with private equity firm". Retail Dive. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "ACON Investments to invest in hardware retailer True Value". March 16, 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "True Value Company". Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Tribune, Chicago (December 11, 1996). "TRUE VALUE PARENT, SERVISTAR TO MERGE". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  10. ^ "True Value Company and Acon Investments Announce Strategic Partnership To Accelerate Transformation of True Value Business > True Value Company". Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  11. ^ Smith, Jennifer (July 16, 2019). "True Value Retools Hardware Supply Chain". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  12. ^ "True Value Company acquires the Agway brand". Wall Street Journal. November 1, 2022. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  13. ^ "GPM – Expertly Crafted. Within Reach". Retrieved August 11, 2019.