Now, these hardware helpers are good folks and no doubt the same hardworking folks from back when the Ace man roamed the aisles. But gender-nonspecific folks are not men. Not real men anyway.
Designations should clarify. People, persons and other nondescript mush only muddy the language; and are whipped out primarily by the cranky and bitter – they hate being women, they cannot be men, and blame men for it.
The DIY guy in over his head needs helpful hardware advice from someone who’s been there, done that; and will not race to the Ace place to chat with a helpful hardware woman (which was rejected as a replacement slogan). Even gals, those who adore being referred to as such, value a handy hardware man; and they’ll task one from some other place. Probably a warehouse place logo’d in orange.
So, the reason for neutering the Ace man was what exactly? Political correctness… always having to say you’re sorry.