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2019 Young Retailer of the Year: Samantha Post

Samantha PostSamantha Post

Marketing and Human Resources Manager
T & M Hardware & Rental
Locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio

Success in retailing includes strengthening the company’s infrastructure, and that will be critical for the success of the next generation.

When Samantha Post returned to work full time in the family business in 2013, the company was in the midst of a rapid expansion. Her parents had just purchased a fifth store, with a sixth location to follow a year later. But while much of the efforts at T & M Hardware were focused on external growth, Post saw a need to focus on the company’s internal operations.

Marketing was one of the first tasks Post decided to tackle. To help the company improve its online presence, she created a digital advertising strategy that included a Google Ads campaign to promote the party rental side of the business. The ads began generating requests for information about rental items and brought more sales into that department.

She also oversaw a redesign of the company’s website, adding an e-commerce platform. To complete the marketing strategy, she created a cohesive branding program to tie all six of the company’s locations together. That rebranding included creating her own customized sales circulars and in-store sales signage.

Believing employees are critical to the business, Post used her background in behavioral science to introduce new hiring tools that improved the company’s hiring process and reduced turnover. In addition, she updated the employee handbook, creating extensive job descriptions for all positions in the company. That change allowed employees to better understand their responsibilities and give them a path for growth. By focusing on the human resources component of the job, Post created a team that is more productive and able to contribute to the overall success of the business.

In addition to her work in marketing and human resources, she has also been managing the day-to-day operations at the Bellevue, Pennsylvania, location. When T & M Hardware acquired the store, sales were in a decline. Determined to bring the sales numbers back up, Samantha began resetting departments and training the staff on company policies and procedures. Most recently, she was able to expand the downstairs sales area by 25 percent. At the end of 2018, store sales were up 14 percent, with more growth expected in 2019.

Post also promotes community development. She planned activities for Small Business Saturday and established a business owner breakfast for local operators to work with the mayor to resolve community issues. Her “Why Not Wednesdays?” campaign encouraged residents to attend the local farmers market and shop local businesses on Wednesdays. Because of her exceptional efforts to promote local shopping, Post received the first Spirit of Independents Award from NRHA and national small business promoter Independent We Stand in 2018.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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