Ace Hardware of South Fulton opened in the Old National Marketplace shopping center in Atlanta in April and it’s a family affair. Warren Pegram and his stepson, Charlston Austin, the store’s proprietors, invited the community into the 12,600-square-foot space in mid-March to share their vision and values, according to a report in the South Fulton Observer.
The event was held in partnership with the South Fulton Chamber and attended by city officials and members of the Old National Merchants Association. A representative from Inland Property Management said that the hardware store will complement the current retail lineup, and assist in the company’s strategic plan to diversity the shopping center’s offerings.
The opening of Ace Hardware comes at a time when the City of South Fulton is encouraging small business ownership as part of its economic development strategic plan. The city recently celebrated National Entrepreneurship Week and hosted a seminar for aspiring franchisees in the area.
Pegram said that the Ace Hardware franchise offers a level of flexibility that’s not available with other stores. He said that franchisees are able to customize their inventory to meet the needs of the community. One area that they plan to specialize in is party rental equipment, including inflatables, commercial-grade snow cone and popcorn machines and more.
Pegram brings a human resources background to the franchise. He says it’s important to him that all of the store’s employees offer a high level of customer service.
“It’s very important that you feel the love from the moment you walk in and that you have an awesome shopping experience,” he said. “Anyone that wants to come work with us, as long as you love people, we welcome you to be a part of our team.”
Austin brings the retail background to the venture. As a former retail account executive, he spent over a decade working for a major telecommunications brand managing multiple stores. He said connecting with the community has given him the confidence that his store will be successful.
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