2017 National Hardware Show® a Great Success

May 23, 2017

NORWALK, Connecticut, May 23, 2017)—Earlier this month, more than 30,000 industry professionals, including over 2,600 exhibitors, gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the National Hardware Show®. This year’s Show drew worldwide attendance from members of the hardware & home improvement industry wanting to see new products, network with exhibitors and other retailers, and much more.

“We’re thrilled to report this year’s Show was very successful,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “We’re so proud to see attendees and exhibitors from all over the world come together at the National Hardware Show. We think the new relationships formed, the knowledge gained and the products discovered will all have a positive impact on the industry for years to come.”

Attendees and exhibitors alike were excited to be at the Show, and this was evident in the positive attitude found across the Show floor and throughout the convention center.

“I came last year, so I knew what to expect, but still, it’s a really big and exciting show,” says April Rembert of Jared’s Ace Hardware in Bishopville, South Carolina. “I like going to Inventors Spotlight and outside to Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ. Overall, it’s just a fun time. I also enjoy spending time at the NRHA All-Industry Conference to learn from all of the great speakers they bring in for this event.”

“The National Hardware Show is a great way for us to make a connection with the home improvement channel,” says Michael McCrory, president of Nextorch USA, one of the exhibitors at the Show who was featured in the Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery area. “Retail in the United States is very challenging right now, but this channel is a viable one. And with the combination of products we offer, including tools, lighting and knives, we think we can make a very good partner within the industry.”

Specialty Areas

The Show was once again divided into categories that were spread throughout the convention center’s North and Central halls, and outdoors in the Silver Parking Lot.

The Featured Product Gallery included New Product World, Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery Product Display, Energy Efficient Product Display, the Homewares Awards and Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Awards Product Displays.

New Product Launch and Inventors Spotlight were also popular areas to find up-and-coming products.

One product in the New Product Launch area was the Snapatite, a plastic multiuse utensil that includes a spoon, fork, knife and bottle opener. “We’ve priced the Snapatite in a way that it’s almost the price of something disposable, but it’s more than that,” says Sonal M. Patel of Sona Enterprises, the company that created the product.

One exhibitor in Inventors Spotlight was Monkey Rung, a ladder accessory tool that can connect on just about any type of ladder. “It’s great to be at the Show and have this exposure to all of these companies, both national and international,” says company president Lawrence Ayala. “It’s our first time here at the Show, so we’re thrilled.”

Other featured areas, including Made in USA, Pet Products and Farm & Ranch, continue to be popular.

Berry, a Made in USA exhibitor, manufactures 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.”

Cardinal Gates was at the Show with a line of safety gates and other safety products for both kids and pets. “Children grow out of different stages so quickly, but a dog is a long-term dweller and part of the family,” says Annette Dalton of Cardinal Gates.

Awards Ceremonies

The National Hardware Show was the place to see retailers, manufacturers and other industry leaders honored for their innovative contributions to the home improvement channel. Click here to view the complete list of award winners>>

Reimagine Retail

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 and will give owner Robert Lau and his staff $100,000 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.

“There wasn’t a bad idea in the group of finalists,” Lau says. “Our next phase is to work with our local health department and then start laying out the kitchen. Then construction starts. We hope to be live by Labor Day.”

He’s eager to provide his community with another space to gather. “It’s about accumulating experiences, and a café lends itself to that. 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.”

Young Retailer of the Year

NRHA recognized its Young Retailer of the Year honorees the night before the Show opened. These innovative retailers are 35 years old and younger and are helping grow their businesses, continuing their hardware education and contributing to their local communities.

The 2017 Young Retailer of the Year honorees are:

Under $2 Million in Annual Sales

  • Reed “RJ” McDaniel Jr., vice president, co-owner, B&B Hardware, Milan, Illinois

Over $2 Million in Annual Sales

  • Joseph Franquinha, owner, Crest True Value Hardware and Urban Garden Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • Bobby Heuser, president, Heuser Ace Hardware, Bluffton, South Carolina
  • Jackie Sacks, owner, Round Top Mercantile, Round Top, Texas

Multiple Stores

  • Camille Gibson, general manager, Mark’s Ace Hardware, Tucson, Arizona
  • Jarrod Haines, store manager, Buchheit, House Springs, Missouri
  • Matthew Payzant, general manager, Payzant Home Hardware Building Centre, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia
  • Jason Plummer, vice president, R.P. Lumber Co., Inc., Edwardsville, Illinois

Top Guns

NRHA and Hardware Retailing magazine also recognized the industry’s Top Guns, this year with a special “Young Guns” edition, highlighting the next-generation retail leaders. 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

Paint and Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA)

PDRA presented its ninth annual $5,000 scholarship, which is given to a high school senior or a college student nominated by a PDRA member in good standing.

This year, the winner was 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.

NRHA All-Industry Conference

The NRHA Village Stage stayed busy with a slew of speakers that discussed a variety of topics, including providing top-of-the-line customer service, the importance of brick-and-mortar stores and much more.

The keynote speaker on the first day was Dr. Kit Yarrow, with “Decoding the New Consumer Mind.” Her presentation is based on a book of the same name, which discusses how consumers have changed their shopping habits over the years.

“The No. 1 thing customers say they want is omnichannel retailing,” says Yarrow. “Customers say they prefer to go to a store, but it’s just so complicated to get there. Bring technology into the store to help customers understand what they are about to buy.”

The second day’s keynote speaker was retail expert Mary Walter with “Your Remarkable Service Advantage.” 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.”

Other speakers included the following:

  • Dustin Kaehr presented, “Customers Uncensored: What They Wish You Knew” and told the audience more about what customers are saying when retailers aren’t around.
  • Bill Brunelle of Independent We Stand and Dan Tratensek of NRHA gave an update to the Home Sweet Home Study, focusing this time on pros and their shopping habits, and how those habits can impact local communities.
  • Al Meyers, a business innovator from Kalypso, told independent retailers how they can set themselves apart from others in his presentation, “Break Out of the Pack.”
  • Will Aubuchon of Aubuchon Hardware talked about the company’s omnichannel initiative, Aubuchon Go.
  • GE Lighting’s James Patton discussed the future of lighting solutions and how retailers can incorporate lighting into their smart home options.
  • Eugene Andreassi told the audience 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.
  • 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.

Lancaster Buying Show

The Lancaster Buying Show was once again co-located with the National Hardware Show. It was held at the nearby Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, and allowed attendees a convenient way to visit both shows within just one trip.

The show featured hundreds of vendors, including 3M, Dumond, Hyde, Krylon, Minwax, Purdy, Shurtape and dozens of others.

Lancaster is the nation’s largest paint industry supplier and services more than 10,000 independent paint stores, national and regional paint chains, hardware stores and home centers.

Product Review and Vetting

The Product Review & Vetting program is a unique way for exhibitors to get their products before an exclusive audience of distributors, co-ops and other retail businesses.

“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.

Participants turned in product samples and entries before the Show opened, and were reviewed throughout the following three days. Participating companies included:

  • Ace Hardware
  • Distribution America
  • Home Hardware
  • Jensen Distribution Services
  • Lancaster
  • Mid-States Distributing Co.
  • PRO Group
  • Sears
  • United Hardware
  • Val-Test
  • Wayfair
  • World and Main Houston (formerly Handy Hardware)

“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.”

Mark your calendars! Next year, the National Hardware Show will be held May 8-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Learn more at www.nationalhardwareshow.com.

About the National Hardware Show®
The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning 72 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War II housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, the National Hardware Show continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving America’s quality of life through their homes. Today, the National Hardware Show is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to unveil their new products, ideas and insight to a broad spectrum of home improvement resellers. For more information on the National Hardware Show, visit www.nationalhardwareshow.com.

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