(LAS VEGAS, May 10, 2017) – After a busy first day, Day 2 of The National Hardware Show® continued with a strong showing at the Las Vegas Convention Center among attendees and exhibitors, who turned out to find new products, hear from educational speakers and network with other members of the industry.
“We had a very successful first day yesterday, with a great turnout and lots of enthusiasm from our attendees and exhibitors, and we saw much of the same today,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “We are so pleased to see the strong turnout and positive atmosphere throughout the convention center.”
One retailer said, “I enjoy seeing all the new products,” says Tim Buchheit of Buchheit Enterprises, which is based in Perryville, Missouri. “I also like hearing from the speakers. I learn a lot that I can bring back to the store.”
One lucky retailer will get to pursue their plans for a capital improvement for their store after winning $100,000 in the 2017 Reimagine Retail program.
Caribou Jack’s Trading Co. in Soda Springs, Idaho, was announced as the winner of the Reimagine Retail program, which is sponsored by the National Hardware Show. Owner Robert Lau and his staff will use the money to build an in-store café where they can host in-store grilling and cooking events and provide a space for members of the community to use at no charge.
Lau says he’s thrilled and honored to be awarded the prize money.
“There wasn’t a bad idea in the group of finalists,” he says. “Our next phase is to work with our local health department and start laying out the kitchen. Then construction starts. We hope to be live by Labor Day.”
He says he’s looking forward to providing the community with another gathering space.
“It’s about accumulating experiences, and a café lends itself to that,” says Lau. “It’s the vibe, the experience. And there isn’t a lot of community space in our town, so this will be a good place for community groups to gather.”
“Congratulations to all of our finalists!” says Russo. “We are so excited to hear all the ideas you all had for the futures of your stores.”
The Show floor, spread out across the North and Central halls of the convention center, stayed busy all day. Exhibitors across categories were happy to have the opportunity to meet with attendees and showcase their new products.
Cardinal Gates is featuring a line of safety gates and other safety products for both kids and pets.
Their pet selection included an outdoor gate that could be used on decks or patios, a gate that came with extension for the top to keep dogs from jumping over it, a banister guard to keep dogs from sticking their heads through the slats and a door shield to protect door surfaces from a dog’s claws.
Annette Dalton of Cardinal Gates says families continue to buy child safety products, which are used for a shorter amount of time, as well as pet safety products, which are needed for years at a time.
“Children grow out of different stages so quickly, but a dog is a long-term dweller and part of the family,” she says.
It was the company’s first year at the Show. “It’s a huge show and a great show,” Dalton says. “We’ve enjoyed it.”
Bare Ground was at the Show with several types of product, including ice melt, small animal repellant, grass and bark mulch colorant, a line of sealants and more.
“The Show offers a great opportunity to meet new people, make acquaintances with new customers, present new product and more,” says president, Ed Brookmyer.
The Made in USA trend continues to be popular, and an additional area was added to within Central Hall, highlighting these domestically made products.
One not to miss Made in USA exhibitor is Berry, who manufactures different types of trash bags, tapes, plastic sheeting and dropcloths. The company’s products are made in several states throughout the country.
“Customers look for products that are Made in the USA—it’s a decision-maker for them,” says Sonya Smith, Berry’s director of marketing. “Retailers and consumers alike see this as a very important factor when making their buying decisions.”
Product Review & Vetting
The Product Review & Vetting program allows inventors to get their latest and greatest products before a bigger audience that includes distributors, co-ops and other retail businesses.
Participants turned in product samples and entries before the Show began, and are being reviewed this week by buyers from the following companies:
- Ace Hardware
- Distribution America
- Home Hardware
- Jensen Distribution Services
- Mid-States Distributing Co.
- PRO Group
- United Hardware
- World and Main Houston (formerly Handy Hardware)
“Participating in this program gives our merchandise managers an opportunity to see what new and exciting products are out there that we can introduce to our distributor members and retailers,” says Shari Kalbach, vice president at PRO Group.
“Having this program in a central location ensures our members’ buying teams will allocate quality time to this important activity,” says Dave Christmas, president and CEO of Distribution America. “New product vendors have a great opportunity to get their product in from of key decision-makers in the industry in one place; they can’t get that kind of exposure in such a short time anywhere else.”
NRHA recognized four retailers during its annual Top Guns presentation today. This year’s award is a special “Young Guns” edition, highlighting next-generation retail leaders. The four honorees offered insights into the goals of their businesses and discussed their ideas of the future of the industry.
“These four honorees have all embraced education and networking opportunities and are leading innovators for the future of the independent home improvement industry,” says Scott Wright, executive director of NRHA’s Retail Leadership Institute.
This year’s honorees are:
- Scott Jerousek, Farm & Home Hardware, Wellington, Ohio
- Jonathan Miller, Miller Hardware, Valdosta, Georgia
- Diana Brunjes Newton, Bay Hardware, Seal Beach, California
- Matt Woods, Woods Hardware, Cincinnati, Ohio
PDRA Scholarship Presentation
The Paint and Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA) presented its ninth annual $5,000 scholarship today on the NRHA Village Stage. The scholarship is presented to a high school senior or a college student, nominated by a PDRA member in good standing.
This year’s winner is Jennifer Fick, a junior at Missouri State University and color consultant at Seminole Design Center in Seminole, Missouri. She’ll be using the scholarship toward an internship with Seminole Design Center.
The speakers and other presentations continued today on the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) Village Stage.
First up was Eugene Andreassi, who talked about Benjamin Moore’s Store of the Future concept in his presentation, “Store of Tomorrow,” which included the store’s origins and development and how this new model mirrors the future of customers’ expectations.
“Customers today are more demanding,” says Andreassi. “Everything has to be customized and engineered for the individual. They’re likely to be unforgiving of any flaws in the process-they’re always a click away from giving a good or bad review.”
Next was keynote speaker Mary Walter with “Your Remarkable Service Advantage.” Walter, a retail expert who spent 25 years working for Fortune 300 retailers, including Ross, Gap, Target and Macy’s, and has provided leadership development and efficient business solutions. At the Show, she spoke about how independent retailers can set themselves apart through personalized customer service.
“Protect yourself by exploiting your local knowledge,” Walter says. “Make things easy for customers. Provide easy checkouts and fast returns, and make it easy for customers to find things in your store. Make sure to provide that human connection—you win in this area, and you have an advantage no one can touch.”
In “The Store is STILL Important,” Jim Robisch, senior partner with The Farnsworth Group, spoke about the importance of the in-store experience and how it still plays a critical role in shoppers’ buying habits.
“Retailers must respond to the rapidly changing expectations of customers in order to remain relevant,” Robisch says.
The National Hardware Show continues through Thursday, May 11. For more information, visit nationalhardwareshow.com.