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2017 Young Retailer of the Year: Matthew Payzant

Multi-store Retailer

Payzant Home Hardware Building Centre, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada

General Manager

Payzant Home Hardware Building Centre was founded in 1964 by Matthew Payzant’s grandfather, John. Payzant grew up alongside the hardware industry, and while he says he feels like he’s been part of the family business for his whole life, there were some detours along the way. His father, Jeff, encouraged Payzant and his brothers to pursue professional interests outside the hardware store.

After college, Payzant started his career with a wholesale foodservice company. He quickly began moving up the ranks, but he missed the day-to-day consumer interactions in retail. So, he put together a plan detailing how his skill set could help the family business. He presented his in-depth proposal to his uncle Andrew, who was CEO at the time. Soon after, Payzant had his first job at the hardware store working at the order desk.

Payzant wore many hats and held many positions while working his way up in the business. Today, he is head of merchandising, marketing and inventory for the five-store company and works at company headquarters.

As part of the leadership team, one of Payzant’s first responsibilities was to complete physical renovations to many locations. Just when he thought his work on this project was complete, heavy snow caused a roof collapse at the flagship store in Lower Sackville. Rather than simply fixing the roof, Payzant re-evaluated the location and made considerable changes by incorporating old warehouse space into the existing retail area creating 23,000-square-feet of retail. Payzant also built a 15,000-square-foot drive-thru warehouse facility to revamp the purchasing process and inventory management at the location.

Once the Lower Sackville project was complete, Payzant took control of purchasing and inventory and adjusted procedures to take advantage of the company’s multi-store buying power. This minimized dead inventory and overbuying.

Payzant also made significant improvements to the employees onboarding process. He created an informational slideshow to teach new hires about the company and a new employee checklist with tasks like mandatory online and in-person training programs. Payzant has implemented training policies that require a considerable number of hours so staff have a clear understanding of customer service company-wide.

Payzant further improved the customer experience by renovating stores to be more appealing. He created showrooms for featured product lines including bathrooms, windows and doors.

One of Payzant’s greatest passions is marketing. He’s created his own successful flyer and advertising program geared towards individual stores. Additionally, Payzant creates local ads and flyers for each store’s “Saturday Specials,” during which advertised products fly off the shelves, he says.

He’s also implemented merchandising standards and started regular visits to each store to maintain merchandising expectation and build consistency across the company’s locations. Payzant gives his staff at each store freedom to merchandise accordingly to their market and customer base while still keeping up with company standards.

“We are working to build inventory and we are working to market product. Now we are need to build excitement in our stores,” says Payzant. “We want to make sure that every day, we live up to our marketing.”

Over the past few years, Payzant’s hard work and business developments have contributed to a company-wide sales increase of several million dollars.

Payzant also values community giving. Payzant and his team host and attend events like parades to introduce children to Home Hardware. It’s important to Payzant that the next generation makes memories connected to Home Hardware. The company has also hosted tree plantings, ladies’ nights, birdhouse building contests and other events in addition to providing materials and donations to family-focused community projects.

View Payzant’s video here.

About Hilary Welter

Hilary Welter
As the member services and communications coordinator, Hilary contributes to all member-focused communications efforts. She assists with communication aspects of member recruitment and retention and contributes to the marketing of member programs and benefits. Additionally, she is the voice behind NRHA and Hardware Retailing social media accounts. Hilary is currently working remotely while traveling abroad, tapping into the international hardware markets along the way. To follow her adventures, visit www.hardwareretailing.com/NRHA-Abroad starting August 1, 2016.