“It took a lot of work, but we also poured a lot of love into it, a lot of sacrifice. And we all take great pride in it because it feels like it’s ours.” – James McLamb, lawn and garden associate
When is a store more than just a place to work? Seventeen employees from Lowe’s of Clinton, North Carolina, would say it’s when you help build it, open it and make it part of the community.
Ten years after welcoming its first customers through the doors, Store 1689 still counts 17 employees who have been there since the beginning. From raising walls to building and stocking shelves, they were part of the team that turned a concrete slab into a source of pride.
“It took a lot of work,” said lawn and garden associate James McLamb, “but we also poured a lot of love into it, a lot of sacrifice. And we all take great pride in it because it feels like it’s ours.”
A sense of ownership permeates throughout the store in the town of less than 9,000 just east of Fayetteville, but it’s especially strong among the 17 original employees. “We felt that way when we were putting it together,” said pro services sales specialist Cindy Boykin. “We still do.”
But it’s more than just sweat equity and pride that has kept 17 employees together in this store for more than a decade. “We’ve formed bonds here,” said Evangeline Whitted, department manager for appliances. When Whitted’s mother became ill, the store rallied around her with support, including the time off she needed to take care of things. “They made me feel good at a time when it was hard to.”
The word “family” comes up a lot when the Clinton 17 talk about why they work at Lowe’s, and why they’ve stayed for so long. “They treat you right here,” said Boykin, echoing the sentiments of the others. “It’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed,” Whitted added.
No voice is louder than that of 85-year-old James Watson. “I love working at Lowe’s,” he said. “I’ve worked a few jobs in my life, but I’m telling you, there’s no place better than Lowe’s.” And while he stopped short of committing to another decade on the job in Clinton, he smiled as he spoke about his future. “I’m going to work here as long as I can, that’s for sure.”