February 22, 2014

ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2014 – At the 2014 Spring Reunion, True Value Company will host the very first Young Retailer track for owners, managers and associates under the age of 40. The track, which helps young retailers build rapport with peers and attract future generations to their stores, is part of True Value Company’s Retail Best Practices conference held Feb. 21 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

“These young retailers have opened their own stores, taken over their family-run businesses or are the succession plan. They know what appeals to the Gen X and Gen Y customer, and can help shape the strategy of True Value stores to gain the business of future customers,” said Retail Consultant Jackie Recchia, who spearheaded the formation of a Young Retailer Group in spring 2013 – and is herself a member of the Millennial generation. To date, the Young Retailer Group has grown to almost 100 active members since its founding.

True Value Company initiated the Young Retailer track based on retailer feedback requesting the opportunity to network with other young retailers from different regions to exchange best practices and ideas to grow their businesses. The Young Retailer track’s programming features interactive discussions with Senior Vice President of Marketing, Blake Fohl, on ways to reinvigorate brand initiatives as well as a talk on shared leadership and sales skills delivered by acclaimed speaker Dave Mitchell.

Retailers will also have a chance to let their voices be heard and help guide True Value Company’s strategic plan, which revolves around a tactical change to help retailers increase profitability and address the demographic changes of today’s hardware consumer. True Value Company President and CEO John Hartmann will host a roundtable discussion encouraging attendees to openly share how they envision the Retail Support Center contributing to their stores’ successes. The open forum acknowledges the retailers’ alignments with the co-op’s growing young customer base and will encourage an exchange of ideas on how the co-op and retailers specifically market to younger shoppers.

“Part of our 2014 strategic plan, which sets the foundation for years to come, is balancing the attraction of up-and-coming, multichannel Millennials while maintaining communication with our current consumer base,” John Hartmann said. “Millennials are a growing market. By 2017 Gen Y shoppers will outspend Baby Boomers in the hardware industry. With the size and increased buying power of this generation, local, independent hardware stores have opportunities to build lasting relationships and gain loyal customers with Millennial shoppers. I look forward to sharing the information the co-op has gleaned on the Millennial shopper, and gaining valuable insights from our young retailers on this important consumer group. Together we’ll discuss how True Value Company is helping True Value retailers become the hardware retailer of choice for the Millennial shopper, and how we can further support the success and profitability of our retailers.”

About True Value Company
True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives. The True Value cooperative represents independent retailer locations worldwide with retail sales in their communities totaling approximately $5.5 billion. Store identities include True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply. Additional information on True Value Company and its retail identities is available at