Hardware Retailing

JUN 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | June 2018 38 Hardware Retailing sat down with several employees to discuss how different generations in the current retail workforce have altered the retail landscape. Employees in the modern retail environment are in constant interaction throughout the day, and those interactions can shape how tasks are accomplished and whether the business thrives or struggles. Editors hosted a roundtable for employees to talk about their experiences as employees working with other generations. The discussion centered on how different generations can work together in a retail environment and what complementary skills are associated with a diverse workforce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964, are the oldest generation still working full or part time in retail. However, some members of the silent generation, born between 1928 and 1945, are still in the workforce. Generation X (1965-1980) is the next youngest, followed by millennials. Millennials (1981-2000) make up a growing portion of the workforce, with the generation overtaking baby boomers in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This generation can include full-time professionals in their 30s to students and entry-level applicants in retail. Representatives of these generations met for the Hardware Retailing roundtable and discussed a range of topics, and each brought a unique perspective based on how they have experienced the hardware industry. Silent Generation Baby Boomer Generation X Millennial Donna Minnick Age: 80 Akard True Value Donna learned about customer relationships while working with patients as a hospital administrator and seeing how an understanding listener could help turn around a bad day. Since retiring from the medical field, she has worked for Akard True Value co-owner Leigh Ann Akard, who hired Donna to help with the expanding gift and housewares section in the hardware store. Gwen Maffei Age: 57 Akard True Value Gwen brought a host of product knowledge with her when she joined the Akard True Value team two years ago. She began working in a New York hardware store in 1991 and moved to the Indianapolis area to be closer to her two grandchildren. She knew she wanted to continue working in hardware retailing, calling the combination of hardware products and helping a community her passion. Michelle Ashley Age: 50 Fishers Do it Center Michelle has worked in retail for 19 years, including the last six at Fishers Do it Center. As office manager, her experience centered around human resources responsibilities and co-worker interactions. As a member of Generation X, she saw how younger generations harnessed technology to become a tool in retail as well as how older generations have adapted. Zachary Badger Age: 20 Fusek's True Value Zachary began his career in hardware retail at a big-box retailer in the summer of 2017, but his childhood interests of repairing old equipment and devising new technologies had him frequenting independent retail stores far before he began working for them. In October 2017, Zachary began working at Fusek's True Value while studying engineering in Indianapolis. Meet Our Generations

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