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 40 For Gwen Maffei, a baby boomer with 22 years in retail hardware, it was appreciation of that experience that drew her to Akard True Value in Zionsville, Indiana, when she moved into the area to be closer to family. Having worked for years in a small hardware store in New York, Maffei felt she could offer plenty of advice, assistance and cheer to offer customers and wanted to work with a group that felt the same way about customer service as she did. "From the beginning, the people at Akard True Value showed me I was valued and my experience was needed in the store," Maffei says. "I enjoy helping customers, I enjoy using my time in the industry to help others solve their problems. If your experience is validated, even when you're older than other employees and a new employee in the store, then it shows how much you're valued as an employee and as a person." Zachary Badger, the youngest participant in the Hardware Retailing roundtable and a millennial, knows how much a flexible schedule can help in daily life. Badger works as a customer service rep at Fusek's True Value in downtown Indianapolis while also pursuing a degree full time at a local university. As a busy college student, making sure he has the ability to complete his studies without affecting his time at work is of great concern for both himself and his employer. "I've always been met with a great understanding of my role as a student. My managers have said, 'We want school to be your focus, but while you're here at the store, your focus needs to be here for that time,'" Badger says. "I respect that attitude, and I want my co-workers to have their focus at work as well. That's how you get the best results." Akard True Value co-owner Leigh Ann Akard (left) and employees Donna Minnick (center) and Gwen Maffei (right) have worked to foster a strong co-worker dynamic at the Zionsville, Indiana, business. " If your experience is validated, even when you're older than other employees and a new employee in the store, then it shows how much you're valued as an employee and as a person. " —Gwen Maffei, Akard True Value

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