Reimagine Retail @ The 2017 National Hardware Show


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Independent Retailers were asked to submit a 500 word (or less) essay highlighting their ideas for the future of their retail stores and how they would improve their business—specifically: What would you do to improve your store with $100,000?

We looked for projects that focused on four key business improvement areas:

  • Store Design
  • Technology
  • Employees
  • Products

Together with the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and a panel of industry professionals, all entries were reviewed and ten finalists were selected. All ten finalists will be flown out to the National Hardware Show and one (1) Independent Retailer will be chosen to win the $100,000 onsite.

Click here to learn how you can participate in the future

Congratulations to all of the 2017 Finalists

Caribou Jack’s Trading Co., Soda Springs, Idaho

The store plans to use the prize money to build an in-store cafe, combining the farm-to-table and grilling communities. Other ideas include plans to allow community organizations to access the space at no charge, build a space within the next three years to grow the produce used in the café, and develop an app to help groups coordinate events in the space.

Debbie Supply, Inc., East Rochester, New York

Starting out as a plumbing wholesaler 60 years ago, Debby Supply Inc. has grown into a full-service hardware operation and would plan buy new service equipment, and invest in upgraded computer systems [to support the new equipment] to better serve its customers.

K Hardware Stores, Idaho Falls, Idaho

If you’ve ever needed a part or a product in the middle of a project, but didn’t want to stop to run to the store, K Hardware Stores wants to build a solution that fits in the palm of your hand. Instead of asking someone to run out for the product and risk them buying the wrong item, they envision an app that allows customers to preorder the correct item and get curbside pickup when they arrive at the store.

La Grange Park Ace Hardware, La Grange Park, Illinois

La Grange Park Ace Hardware wants to address its challenges in the configuration of their store by using the prize money to remove its current checkout counter, allowing space for more impulse items, and implementing mobile checkout. With mobile checkout, customers will be able to complete their sale anywhere in the store, even from the parking lot.

Logan Hardware, Washington, D.C.

How much business does your in-store service lose because your customers can’t find time to bring the project to you? The answer, according to Logan Hardware, is mobile window-screen repair. They would develop an app that will connect customers to screen repair services that come to them and could be expanded to other services as well.

Mark’s Supply, Frackville and Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

Mark’s Supply wants to update their storefront and invest in renewable energy solutions for the store. In addition, they would build an outdoor pavilion where farmers and crafters can sell their goods. They expect this space to increase foot traffic and inspire other retailers and entrepreneurs to enter the empty storefronts in the area.

Parry’s, Hamilton, New York

The retailer planned to use the $100,000 prize money toward renovating its current store to add space for local food, craft beer and cider and adding a permanent greenhouse to accommodate lawn and garden items and seasonal merchandise.

Sandpoint Super Drug, Sandpoint, Idaho

Sandpoint Super Drug is well known in its community for being the go-to pharmacy and is planning to revitalize the hardware side of its business by improving communication options for customers. They were inspired to create a customer consultation center that would allow customers to contact store representatives through many digital platforms, including social media and live chat.

Shaw Hardware Store Inc., Plattsmouth, Nebraska

This woman-owned business has plans to improve its online presence, renovate the existing store to add more sales floor space and create a space for local craftspeople to lead classes and encourage young people to engage in a craft or artform. These plans build on what already exists at the store, which hosts classes at the local community college and in the store for projects from home repair to Pinterest.

Woods Hardware, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Woods Hardware team virtualized a 3-D image of their store and wants to be a leader in omnichannel retailing with the next step. Using meta tags, how-to videos and e-commerce within the program, the virtual hardware store takes customers right to each product and provides a total cost estimate before they visit the store.

Advisory Committee

A panel of industry professionals, the Advisory Committee reviewed the eligible essays to determine finalists. A Prize Panel will then determine which project is most worthy of winning the $100,000.

Official Rules & Regulations

Hardware Retailing Interview

Rich Russo, Industry Vice President of NHS sat down with Hardware Retailing to discuss the program—and what it means for you.

Learn More Here >>

Countdown to
National Hardware Show

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