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MACON, Miss. (WCBI) – Locally owned and operated retailers have their work cut out for them in today’s economy.

Big box stores have a competitive advantage over family run businesses.

Success is still possible, if you take good care of your customer.

Senter Hardware continues to thrive after 100 years in business.

We head to Macon for a lesson in longevity in tonight’s edition of The Changing Family.

Decade after decade, Senter Hardware has stood strong in the heart of downtown Macon.

If you live here, you’ve shopped here, and there’s a fair chance that you’ve worked here, too.

How does Senter survive in a world of corporate behemoths?

Alan Senter is President of Senter Hardware.

He says, ” Personal service is the main thing that we can do better, and I mean that’s the name of the game.”

Alan knows most people who come through the door.

Senter takes up 3 buildings now.

There’s furniture, hardware and about a million things in between.

Whether you need a fixture fix, boots, bicycles, a bridal spread, or a case of case knives, they’ve got it, or they can get it.

Alan says, ” We try to accommodate people. We do a lot of special orders, of all types, whether it be furniture, or parts, or hardware, whatever they need, we try to get it for them.”

Last month, Senter celebrated its 100th anniversary with a well attended open house and plenty of door prizes.

Classic customer service combined with modern convenience has Senter set up nicely for the next century.

Alan is game. He says, ” I’ve been back here for 33 years myself not counting the time I spent working growing up.”

I asked, ” Do you still enjoy coming in?

He said, “Oh I do, I do.”

I asked, ” What makes it good, every day? ”

Alan replied, ” I don’t know it’s just always kind of been in my blood.”

In case you were wondering, Alan does have a daughter.

Lord willing, Senter will remain right here in the center of town for a long long time.

Alan concludes, ” I would say that the best way we kept it going is through prayer and a lot of blessings from our heavenly father.”
Many of Senter’s employees have been on the job for several years, and that’s a sign of a well run business.

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