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Hit the Road With Renee: Company Culture and Creativity Among Maine Retailers

To start the second day of the NRHA New England Road Trip, NRHA’s webmaster Kevin Trehan joined me for a few days to help capture the stories of the retailers we’re visiting. He arrived late Monday evening so we could explore two different retail operations in Maine and experience some unforgettable tourist attractions in the area.

Day 2: Maine

We left early in the morning and drove from Portland, Maine, northwest to Hancock Lumber’s home office in Casco, Maine. Their office opened in June and the construction team utilized the very lumber they sell, with lots of beautiful exposed wood and windows, making the space bright and welcoming. We met Kevin Hancock, chairman, president and CEO of his family’s seventh-generation business. He gave us a tour of the company’s sawmill, which was located across the street.

Additionally, we sat down with Hancock to talk about their multistore operation and learn about his unique leadership style. Subscribe to my podcast “Tell Me More…” and stay tuned for the release of the episode. After spending a few hours in the morning touring Hancock Lumber’s home office and sawmill, we stopped by the Hancock Lumber Kitchen and Design Showroom in Windham.

After leaving the design showroom, we made our way back to Portland, Maine, to visit with the team at Maine Hardware. We met president Rick Tucker and one of the owners, Pete Zimmerman. The two gave us a tour of the operation and shared a little bit about what makes their business so unique.

Tucker joined the business in January and whenever friends from the area heard his plans to work at Maine Hardware, he says they had nothing but great stories about the staff and service the business provides. The store has unique signage both inside and outside, drawing customers in and helping solidify the company’s unique brand.

While in town, we went to the most photographed lighthouse in the world: Portland Head Light. Seeing it in person, you could see why it’s so popular and a must-visit recommendation from locals. Before hitting the road for Massachusetts, we decided to eat dinner at Portland Lobster Company on the Portland waterfront. Our next stop was visiting two operations in Massachusetts.

Make sure you stay tuned on NRHA’s Instagram and Facebook to see where we’re at and follow along on Hardware Retailing each day for recaps of the stores visited on this journey.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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