As the president and CEO of Fruehauf’s, a 40,000 square-foot outdoor furniture supplier in Westminster, Colorado, Maydew knows retail success takes determination.
Maydew is invested in helping shape retail for current operators and the generations to come. She currently serves as a 2019 chair of the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) Retail Council, an organization that seeks to promote business development and partnerships in the outdoor and casual furnishings industry. She says the position enables her to advocate for retail at large.
“I attended my first ICFA conference about 20 years ago,” Maydew says. “It was great because we could discuss products, issues and solutions with other retailers from around the country, and I came away with lots of ideas to implement at the store.”
Maydew says her involvement with ICFA has brought direct value to her business and the industry she serves.
“The Retail Council brainstorms ideas and makes decisions on which programs and incentives would make being an ICFA member more valuable to retailers. We put together roundtable events, problem-solving ‘think tanks,’ retail store tours. We’re currently in the process of developing a sales training program,” she says.
Honoring the Industry
Even as she finds innovative ways to bolster her peers’ retail presence, Maydew is keeping a sharp eye on the future of the industry she serves.
Maydew succeeded Mary Fruehauf as president and CEO of Fruehauf’s, and Maydew remembers Mary’s legacy fondly.
“Mary took over the store from her parents about 25 years ago,” Maydew says. “She was very involved and known throughout the industry. She had a knack for creating unique displays in the store and implementing creative ideas to make the customers’ shopping experience fun and welcoming, which she jokingly called ‘retail genius.’”
Under Mary’s oversight, Fruehauf’s hosted ice cream socials for customers, offered free glitter tattoos, implemented a play area for kids as their parents shopped. She also made the store pet-friendly and instituted same-day delivery in the area, enabling Fruehauf’s to serve its customers quicker than ever before.
Mary Fruehauf passed away in 2015, and after her death, her industry peers coalesced to create the Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award, which honors retail innovation throughout the outdoor furniture industry.
“Mary was creative and unafraid to do things differently and work for what the customer wants,” Maydew says.
Learn more about Fruehauf’s and Maydew’s commitment to merchandising in the February 2020 issue of Hardware Retailing. To see more photos of Fruehauf’s and the team’s dedication to outdoor furniture merchandising, check out an exclusive slideshow.