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2019 Young Retailer of the Year: Kevin Harris

Kevin HarrisKevin Harris

Store Manager
Harris Home Hardware
London, Ontario

There is always a better way or better idea for how to do things in business, and I do my best to discover them.

Kevin Harris began his home improvement career in April 2010, when he joined his parents’ business as the store merchandiser. His time in that position was formative; he believes merchandising is one of the greatest skills a retailer can possess to guide customers through a store and to boost sales. He says he learned merchandising skills from his wholesaler and from the retail expertise his father refined throughout the years.

After proving his value as store merchandiser, Harris became store manager in 2013. Since then, he has been devoted to ensuring his home improvement business has the right mix of products, expert merchandising and knowledgeable employees to ensure each customer leaves Harris Home Hardware with the tools and information they need to complete any home improvement project.

He continues to learn everything he can from his father about running a successful operation. Plans are already underway for him to buy the business in 2020. Throughout his career, Harris has achieved many milestones. After his family bought the business, he and his parents were able to double its sales within five years.

He says his proudest accomplishment as a young home improvement retailer came in early 2019, when he oversaw the total renovation of his store. Aiming to maximize space and place departments where they would connect with customers and grow, he worked tirelessly to usher in a new vision for the business and improve the overall customer experience. In February, just shortly after the renovation, the store increased sales by 10 percent.

Harris is an avid learner and commits himself to furthering his knowledge of retail and the independent home improvement industry at every turn. He has taken more than 30 intensive retail courses from Home Hardware throughout his career, advancing his social media skills, merchandising expertise and knowledge of key hardware categories like plumbing and electrical.

He has also devoted his time and skills to several charitable efforts around his London community. Each year, Harris collaborates with Tree Canada and a nearby school to plant trees and provide more greenery throughout the city. In the past year, he’s planted more than 200 trees. He and Harris Home Hardware are also regular contributors to golf tournaments, Easter Seals (an organization providing disability services) and a variety of police and firefighter groups.

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