The National Hardware Show® kicked off this morning with a strong start, and it was a busy day as thousands gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center to find new products, network with industry professionals and much more.

The American Legion Spirit of Freedom Post 76 presented the colors, as attendees gathered around the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) Village Stage to celebrate the start of the Show.

“This year is all about new, from our logo and branding to 500-plus new exhibitors,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “There are new experiences everywhere you turn, and new connections and new products to bring back to your stores.”

Awards Ceremonies

There’s a variety of industry awards ceremonies this week, with many taking place tomorrow. Tomorrow's highlights include NRHA’s Top Guns Awards and the National Hardware Show’s Reimagine Retail ceremony and winner announcement.

Top Guns recognizes innovative retailers who continue to pave the way in the independent home improvement industry.

Reimagine Retail awards $100,000 to one independent home improvement retailer to improve technology in their store. Entrants had to write a 250-word essay detailing how they would use the prize money to improve their business.

Educational Opportunities

The NRHA All-Industry Conference includes educational seminars that cover a variety of topics. Some highlights of tomorrow's lineup include a keynote address by Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of TreeHouse, and research findings presented by NRHA and Independent We Stand that will detail the impact on local communities when consumers purchase home improvement products from Amazon, rather than from their local store.

New Products

New products are always a big draw to the Show, and there’s no shortage of places to find them. If you didn’t get a chance today, make sure to take some time tomorrow to check out New Product World (Level 2, N245), New Product Launch (Level 1, Central Lobby) and Inventors Spotlight (Level 1, N109).

You can find products that are brand new to the market or, in some cases, haven’t yet hit the market and are being launched here at the Show! It’s a great way to see what products are new and trending across the home improvement industry in the coming weeks and months. 


The North American Retail Hardware Association’s (NRHA) All-Industry Conference got off to a busy start today, including a strong educational lineup that included two keynote speakers.

Those keynotes included a presentation from Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, stars of HGTV’s “Good Bones,” and Jules Pieri, CEO of The Grommet.

Laine and Starsiak Hawk’s presentation, “Small Business Management: Turning a Hobby Into Something More,” talked about the mother-daughter duo’s hobby of flipping houses that became a business as they work to revitalize Indianapolis, one property at a time. They also talked about using their roles as a way to promote other local businesses.

“Since we have a TV show, we get to feature so many cool companies, like artists, retailers and contractors,” says Starsiak Hawk, “so it’s great to give our local businesses a national platform and give them the recognition they deserve.”

Pieri’s presentation, “How to Discover the Next Big Thing,” talked about The Grommet’s work to find new, innovative products and how independent businesses can help support makers and other entrepreneurs.

“There are many companies that are supporting the maker community,” Pieri says. “All the things these companies need to compete are being created in fresh and innovative ways.”

Other presentations highlighted topics such as saving or selling a business, competing online, and the importance of good collaboration between retailer and supplier.

A couple of panels were hosted on the NRHA Village Stage, including the Young Retailer Panel, which offered insights from past Young Retailer of the Year honorees, and the Reimagine Retail panel, which gave the audience a chance to hear from this year’s five finalists. (Find out who will win tomorrow at 2 p.m. on the NRHA Village Stage!)

Tomorrow's stage sessions will include a keynote at 10 a.m. from Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of TreeHouse, the world’s first home upgrade company. In “How TreeHouse Grew Its Roots and Where It’s Headed,” Ballard will talk about “the future of the home” and how we can build healthier, more sustainable homes while keeping a close watch on our carbon footprint.

At 11 a.m., NRHA and Independent We Stand will present the results of the latest edition of the Home Sweet Home Study. This original research will include information about the impact on local communities when consumers choose to purchase home improvement products on Amazon, rather than at their local stores.

Scott Reynolds, CEO of Member Insurance, will talk about cybersecurity and what to do to avoid a data breach at your business. 


The finalists of the second Reimagine Retail program, presented by the National Hardware Show®, took the stage today to discuss their business improvement projects. For this year’s program, independent home improvement retailers were asked to discuss in an essay how they would use $100,000 to improve technology use in their business. 

Entries could fall under any of the following categories:
  • Inventory management systems  
  • Check out process
  • Marketing, advertising and public relations
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Training software
  • In-store experience    
  • Customer relationship management systems
  • And more!

In today's panel, themes emerged among all the finalists. Panelists discussed how crucial e-commerce is and how it needs to be partnered with brick and mortar.

The retailer finalists were thrilled to have the opportunity to share their ideas.

“We really do believe that if you are going to be successful in the future, you need to have brick and mortar and e-commerce,” says Ron Cicuttini, president of  Weeks Home Hardware in Waterdown, Ontario. “You need to have both platforms.”

The National Hardware Show is also excited by the entries to this year’s program and is always looking for ways to support independent retailers.

Tomorrow at 2 p.m. on the NRHA Village stage, in the Main Hall, attend the main event to see who will go home with the grand prize to implement their idea in their business. 


Last night, in a ceremony at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, eight independent home improvement retailers were honored as a 2018 Young Retailer of the Year by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA).

These independent retailers represent high achievers who are 35 years old or younger. Nominees were judged on several factors, including business improvement, hardware education and community involvement.

“These outstanding young people represent the future of the independent home improvement industry,” says NRHA president and CEO Bob Cutter. “NRHA is proud to honor the next generation who continues to push the industry toward a stronger future.”

Over the last 22 years, NRHA has recognized more than 150 retailers as Young Retailer of the Year.

Here are this year's honorees.
  • Ronna Kilts, Manager, Mattson’s True Value Hardware, Howard City, Michigan
    Under $2 million in annual sales   
  • Megan Zarbano, Owner, Handy Hardware & Rental, Valley City, North Dakota
    Under $2 million in annual sales
  • Sean Angelo, General Manager, Budget Home Supply, Longmont, Colorado
    Over $2 million in annual sales
  • Taylor Baker, Owner, Foothills Hardware & Builders Supply, Pilot Mountain, North Carolina
    Over $2 million in annual sales   
  • Mike Wilson, General Manager & Dealer-Owner, Wilson’s Home Hardware Building Centre, Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia
    Over $2 million in annual sales
  • Byron Clouse, Owner, Lewiston Ace Hardware, Lewiston, Michigan
    Multiple Store Operations
  • Nate Ludwig, General Manager, Dazey’s Building Center, Garberville, California
    Multiple Store Operations 
  • Diana Newton, Vice President, Bay Hardware, Seal Beach, California
    Multiple Store Operations  


The first day of the NRHA All-Industry Conference featured a strong cadre of industry experts, retailer panels and two top-notch keynote presentations.

Tomorrow morning, head over to the NRHA Village to attend the third and final keynote of the NRHA All-Industry Conference.

Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of Texas home improvement retail company TreeHouse will discuss his company and how the future of the industry lies in making eco-friendly choices across the board in his presentation “How TreeHouse Grew Its Roots and Where It’s Headed.” 

Ballard will offer a glimpse into what he sees as the “Future of the Home” and how we can build healthier, more sustainable and more beautiful spaces while keeping an eye on our carbon footprints. The TreeHouse Dallas location is the first energy-positive home improvement retail store that produces more energy than it consumes, giving back power to the city of Dallas through its unique design, solar panels, Tesla batteries, north-facing windows and other energy-efficient features. Learn how you too can build sustainably and make a difference. 

“At this year’s conference, we have the added value of three keynote speakers,” says NRHA publisher and executive vice president Dan Tratensek. “Hearing someone like Ballard, who is revolutionizing home improvement retail in his market, is an opportunity to learn about something that will certainly affect independent retailers in the coming years.”

Since opening the first location in Austin in 2011, TreeHouse has grown its reputation throughout Texas and the country for approaching home improvement from a different angle. Now with three stores in Dallas, Austin and Plano, the company merchandises items by project so customers can get a sense of how they might be able to complete it themselves. Everything in the stores is eco-friendly or helps customers achieve green goals.

To learn more about the origins of TreeHouse and how the company has cultivated its brand, plan to get a front-row seat for Ballard’s presentation at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the NRHA Village. 


  • 9 – 9:45 a.m.

    How to Address Cybersecurity as a Small Business
    Speaker: Scott Reynolds, CEO, Member Insurance
  • 10 – 10:45 a.m.

    KEYNOTE: How TreeHouse Grew Its Roots and Where It's Headed
    Speaker: Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO, TreeHouse
  • 11 – 11:45 a.m.

    Home Sweet Home Study Update: Amazon
    Speakers: Bill Brunelle, Independent We Stand, and Dan Tratensek, NRHA
  • 1  – 1:45 p.m.

    NRHA Top Guns Awards
    Presented by: NRHA and Hardware Retailing
    Moderator: Melanie Moul, NRHA
  • 2 – 2:45 p.m.

    Reimagine Retail
    Presented by: The National Hardware Show®
  • 3 – 3:15 p.m.

    American Manufacturing Awards

    Presented by: Made in USA
  • 3:45 – 4 p.m.

    Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Awards
    Presented by: Lawn & Garden Retailer
  • 4 – 4:15 p.m.

    Homewares Awards
    Presented by: HomeWorld® Business
  • 5 – 6:30 p.m.

    NRHA Retailers' Choice Awards (Invitation-Only Event)
    Presented By: NRHA and Hardware Retailing 



Mold Bomb from BioCide Laboratories is an easy-to-use mold fogger that prevents mold from becoming a growing problem. Mold Bomb kills mold in just one treatment. The one-of-a-kind system gets to place you can’t reach with any other product. Mold Bomb is designed for mold suppression, prevention, contents, rooms, appliances and it eliminates odors and disinfects surfaces. Learn more at the BioCide Laboratories Booth #3534 or by visiting  


The Shelfie™ is a new product that Cashel will be introducing at the National Hardware Show®.  It is a portable, already assembled, easy-to-install instant shelf that simply attaches to a utility sink. The Shelfie is made from heavy-duty, waterproof and stain resistant polypropylene. It comes in a beautiful full-color retail-ready box. To learn more, visit the Cashel Booth #8754 located in the Made in USA featured area, or visit  


Taking care of the earth and your furry friends is never easier than with products that are specifically developed with these needs in mind. Take some eco-friendly and pet-friendly cues from these products.

Helping Mother Earth

Whether consumers are hoping to mitigate high utility bills or help the environment, they are taking a more active approach to managing resources like water and electricity in both their indoor and outdoor spaces. Sales in solar landscape lighting, smart water and moisture meters, and native plants and xeriscaping materials can all benefit from the rise in resource awareness. Another eco-friendly trend is repurposing or “upcycling” products for new uses, many of which are manufactured from recycled materials, like the seating options available from C. R. Plastic Products (, which manufactures outdoor patio and picnic furniture from up to 100 percent recycled materials.

Four-Legged Family Members Break Out

Pets are increasingly considered members of the family, and consumer spending is reflecting that sentiment. Pet food is following the trends set in grocery with a greater emphasis on all-natural and organic diets and treats, and more consumers are considering their pets’ mental well-being by adding activity centers, like those from Prevue Pet Products (, into their homes to combat pet boredom and lethargy and promote health. Following this similar trend is the change in attitudes toward taking nonservice dogs into more public spaces and the desire to have dogs more integrated into daily public life, rather than be left alone at home for long periods of time. This trend brings with it the need for various pet items. New NHS exhibitor Nitey Leash ( offers light-up leashes that keep pets safe after dark. 



Be sure to visit these exhibitors in their new booths.
  • Lotus

    Booth #2620
  • Prima Marketing

    Booth #5631
  • Eccotemp

    Booth #3018