This family-owned retailer understands the importance of succession strategies


For many dealers, succession means effectively transferring the business to the next generation in the family. But that handoff can come with some terms. For some, that means pushing the kids out of the nest to try other jobs and careers before taking on the family business.

This strategy works well for both sides: it can help ensure that the new owners will have a wider range of experience to draw from than just the family store. And for the young owners-to-be, it can satisfy their curiosity about other career and life directions, and also bring them back into the family business with a renewed focus and energy.

Mathieu and Marianne Moisan represent the new generation of one such family. The dealer-owner cousins are the grandchildren of the founding owners of the store in Saint-Raymond, Que.

The Moisan family had an ironclad rule for any members of the younger generation who wanted to take over as owners of the store: they had to go work somewhere else first. Mathieu chose to work as an estimator at a construction company. “It really clarified for me that my place was in the hardware store,” he told Hardlines. Marianne worked for nine years as a comptroller for an aviation company. She went on to get her CPA certification.

We asked the cousins how they divide up their responsibilities at the store.

“It almost happens by itself, given that we both have our strengths and weaknesses,” Mathieu said. “Marianne is really more on the finance side, procedures, employee relations, and all that. Then I’m more on the side of purchasing, supplier relations, logistics, deliveries, coordinating always having the right stock at the right moment, and the right price.”