The National Hardware Show® got off to a busy start today, as thousands packed the Las Vegas Convention Center to find new products, network and much more.

“I hope you’re as excited as I am for the next three days of innovation and networking,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “Our industry continues to evolve and transform, and so has the Show. The Show is all about innovation. There are over 700 new exhibitors at the Show. “We want to make sure everyone walks away from the Show with new experiences and new connections.”

Educational Opportunities

Some highlights of the day tomorrow include a presentation from keynote speaker Phillip Helms, regional vice president with Central Network Retail Group (CNRG), and NRHA’s Top Gun Awards.

Helms, who represents brands Elliott’s Hardware and Town & Country Hardware, will be giving his keynote presentation about how these companies have evolved to meet the changes of their quickly growing markets, as well as the role CNRG has played in the process.

Top Guns recognizes innovative independent retailers who pave the way in the home improvement industry. Three of these retailers will be honored on the NRHA Village Stage at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Learn more about the educational opportunities at the Conference in tomorrow's Show Daily in the morning.

Getting Industry Recognition

The NHS Awards reception will be held at 2:30 p.m. today. After the reception, the National Hardware Show will present awards for innovation, uniqueness and value to exhibitors in a number of categories, including Plumbing & Electrical; Paint & Accessories; Homewares (including Smart Home); Hardware & Tools; and Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living and Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ.

For a full list of awards ceremonies that will take place tomorrow, check the Show Daily tomorrow.


Finding New Products

One of the biggest reasons attendees come to the Show is to find new products. At the National Hardware Show, there are a number of new product areas, including New Product World, which shows off products that have come to the market within the last year, and New Product Launch, which highlights products that haven’t yet hit the market. Inventors Spotlight showcases products that might be “the next big thing” in the industry. It is in Room N109.

Be sure to take some time tomorrow to check out these products areas! 


The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) All-Industry conference got off to a strong start today.

Today’s keynote speaker was John Hartmann, president and CEO of True Value Co. The wholesaler’s transition from the co-op model last year when it sold 70 percent of its ownership to ACON Investments. Hartmann talked about the company’s strategy and how it has offered retailers the opportunity to invest in their businesses as they know best.

“It’s been a year that we’re proud of,” Hartmann says.“We’re proud to move the needle in the areas most important to these retailers’ businesses. I come from a company dedicated and passionate to serve the independent channel.”

Next on the stage were sisters Tasha Hilderman and Sarah Rurka of Home Hardware Building Centre—Lloydminster in Alberta. They spoke about their recent presentation at Facebook headquarters and how other retailers can use social media to build relationships in their communities. 

“Social media became our way to keep our customers informed,” says Hilderman. “It can be good and bad. You can find a connection, but it can also take away plenty of your time.The goal is focusing on helping people have more meaningful interactions.”

Jim Robisch, senior partner with research consulting firm The Farnsworth Group, presented research about the changing consumer and discussed how retailers can continue to find ways to reach their customers, even through changes to technology and consumer shopping habits within the industry.

“The question is what type of advertising communication your customers want,” Robisch says. “Find out what they appreciate and what they don’t. What is it they’re looking for?”

He also stressed the importance of pricing in advertising.

“Advertising shouldn’t be done without a price message; that should be part of it,” he says. “Prices and products are the most important parts of ads.”

In partnership with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the NAHB International Builders’ Show, retail expert and motivational coach Mike Moore talked about how retailers could focus on developing leaders and managers to inspire and create change within an organization.

“If you put a group of people together without a coach and call them a team, it won’t work,” Moore says. “It’s about the leader.Most in leadership and management positions have enough humility to not know how exceptional they are.”

Last year, Matt Woods, president and CEO of Woods Hardware, won the Reimagine Retail program, presented by the National Hardware Show®. Today, he shared how that program enabled him to develop and implement an innovative e-commerce side to his brick-and-mortar business. 

The afternoon featured a few panel discussions with retailers talking about company culture; manufacturers discussing how they are responding to the needs of the industry; and Kyle Kelly, a representative from Google, who talked about how brick-and-mortar retailers can drive more foot traffic into their stores using key tools and technology to give themselves a competitive advantage.

See a preview of tomorrow's events below and be sure to check the Show Daily for a full schedule of events in the morning. 


Last night, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) honored seven independent home improvement retailers during a ceremony at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel. 

These seven retailers were recognized as NRHA’s Young Retailer of the Year honorees, an honor given to high-achieving independent retailers, age 35 and younger, who are innovative, forward-thinking retailers and future industry leaders. 

“To be selected as a Young Retailer of the Year is a high honor,” says Scott Wright, executive director of NHRA’s Retail Leadership Institute. “Manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers within the industry all anticipate the selection and celebration of the extraordinary accomplishments of the honorees. These seven retailers show the kind of energy and ambition that will move our industry forward.”

This year’s honorees are: 

  • Franklin Cloninger, General Manager, Triangle True Value Hardware and Rental, Greenwood, South Carolina Under $2 million in annual sales 
  • Morgan Godfrey, Co-owner and Retail Manager, Select Source, Kimberly, Idaho Under $2 million in annual sales 
  • Trey Hamilton, Owner-operator of Arab Lumber & Supply, Arab, Alabama Over $2 million in annual sales 
  • Kevin Harris, Store Manager, Harris Home Hardware, London, Ontario Over $2 million in annual sales 
  • TJ Colson, Director of Store Operations, Wilco, Mt. Angel, Oregon Multiple Store Operations 
  • Jacob Hagan, Director of Store Operations, Hagan Ace Hardware, Orange Park, Florida Multiple Store Operations 
  • Samantha Post, Marketing and Human Resources Manager, T&M Hardware & Rental, Bellevue, Pennsylvania Multiple Store Operations

The retailers thanked their families, many of whom were in attendance, their fellow co-workers and NRHA for their ongoing support of the independent industry. 

“This award isn’t just for those of us being recognized tonight; it’s for everyone who supports us,” says honoree Morgan Godfrey. “We work in a fantastic industry—one of the best I could ever dream to be a part of.”

NRHA chairman of the board TJ Comstock, who himself was a Young Retailer of the Year honoree in 2010, delivered closing remarks, and he is optimistic about the future of the independent industry.

“The stories and speeches we heard tonight are a testament to the future of the home improvement industry,” he says. “This is our future, and we’re in good hands. The industry has a bright future ahead with these young retailers leading the way.”

NRHA appreciates the support from the Young Retailer of the Year program sponsors: Channellock Tools, Delta Faucet Co., The Fluidmaster Co., Intertape Polymer Group and Midwest Fastener. The reception following the award ceremony was sponsored by Arrow Fastener. 


This year’s theme at the NRHA All-Industry Conference takes on the changing landscape of the independent home improvement industry. The theme “Industry in Evolution” continues through the presentations that take place tomorrow, starting at 9 a.m. 
  • Dan Tratensek, NRHA executive vice president and publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine, will present examples showing how independent retailers are differentiating their operations through innovative merchandising, marketing and promotions. 
  • The second keynote presentation of the Conference starts at 10 a.m. Phillip Helms, regional vice president of Central Network Retail Group (CNRG), will talk about how two of the group’s brands—Elliott’s Hardware and Town & Country Hardware—have evolved to meet customers’ needs in their communities. 
  • At 11 a.m., hear Gary Petz, co-founder of the Discovery Retail Group, discuss how merchandising and space management can impact an operation’s sales, average transaction size, conversion rate and gross margin. 
  • If you enjoyed Mike Moore’s presentation yesterday, presented by the National Association of Home Builders and NAHB International Builders’ Show, join him again at noon tomorrow for another installment from his Making Customers series. He will talk about how to empower your sales team to become advisers for your customers instead of only traditional salespeople. 


Tiny living continues to become more popular in today’s culture, thanks to publicity from TV shows and the popularity of tiny home manufacturing and home and garden shows across the country. 

This year, attendees at the National Hardware Show® can find all the tiny home trends and products in one place, thanks to a new product category at the Show: Tiny Living @ NHS. 

The area is designed specifically for attendees to find new exhibitors featuring products and services related to the tiny living industry. 

These exhibitors are spread out across the 15 product categories included at the National Hardware Show, so you’ll be sure to find them across the Show Floor! 

“The popularity of the tiny living lifestyle continues to grow,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “We’ve created an opportunity for attendees to see some of the most popular ideas and products within the tiny living movement.” 

Tiny Living @ NHS also features the Small Build & Construction Technology Conference, which continues tomorrow and features seminars and interactive panels covering some of the most relevant tiny living topics. 

One company displaying in the Tiny Living area was US Polymers/Duramax, which offers tiny house systems built on-site. The homes come in a variety of sizes and are customizable, with hidden wheels allowing users to take the many where they’d like.

“The home on display here has more features, but others can be simple,” says Michalis Tapakoudes of US Polymers/Duramax.“There are plenty of options.”He says the company has seen their tiny living products become more popular. “It’s a home—a small home, but the features make it feel big.” 


Since 2007, NRHA has honored some of the industry’s top performers with the Top Guns award. These high-achieving retailers are always innovating to differentiate their businesses, putting their communities first through charity drives and fundraisers and making connections throughout the independent home improvement industry to share their insights and learn from their peers.

This year, NRHA has named three retailers as its Top Gun honorees. They are multistore operators from the West Coast of the U.S. to the eastern edge of Canada. 

  • Charlie Gillman, Gillman Home Center

    Charlie followed his father and uncle into a career as a general contractor and spent many years as a homebuilder. He transitioned into home improvement retail in the late 1980s, building the first Gillman Home Center himself. The business has since grown to 12 locations in the Midwest, the most recent four of which opened in the last year.
  • Christine Hand, Handyman Home Hardware

    Christine purchased Handyman Home Hardware in Newfoundland, Canada, nearly 30 years ago from her father after she initially started her career as a business analyst. She has served on the Home Hardware Ltd. board of directors since 2003 and is currently in her seventh term as board chair. She recently opened her second store location. 
  • Mark Schulein, Crown Ace Hardware

    Mark spent several years outside the industry before joining his father at Crown Ace Hardware in Orange County, California. Since that time, Mark has utilized a deliberate growth plan to help grow the business to more than 18 locations in three states.

Head to the NRHA Village Stage at 1 p.m. tomorrow to hear these industry luminaries discuss their strategies for growth and success amid an industry in evolution. 


  • 9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

    Independent Innovations: How Retailers Are Differentiating
    Presented by Dan Tratensek, Hardware Retailing, NRHA 
  • 10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

    KEYNOTE: A Changing Approach to Retail
    Presented by Phillip Helms, Regional Vice President, Central Network Retail Group (CNRG)
  • 11:00 – 11:45 a.m.

    Increasing the Productivity and Profitability of Your Retail Space
    Presented by Gary Petz, Discovery Retail Group, NRHA
  • 12:00 – 12:45 p.m.

    If You Really Want To Increase Sales, Stop Selling and Start ‘Making Customers’
    Presented by Mike Moore in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders and the NAHB International Builders’ Show

  • 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

    PANEL: NRHA Top Gun Awards
    Moderated by Melanie Moul, Hardware Retailing, NRHA
  • 2:00 – 2:15 p.m.

    PDRA Scholarship Presentation

    Presented by the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association
  • 2:30 p.m.

    NHS Awards Reception
  • 2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    New Product Launch Awards
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

    NHS Awards
  • 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    American Manufacturing Awards
    Sponsored by Made in USA
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

    NRHA Retailers' Choice Awards
    By Invitation Only


The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) invites National Hardware Show® attendees to explore the wealth of innovative products created by Chinese manufacturers.

Established in July 1988, CCCME is a voluntary organization that represents many manufacturers across China. The organization is committed to providing services related to foreign trade in production, marketing, information, training and more while safeguarding the interests of its members.

In June 2012, CCCME was rated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China as a 5A social organization, the highest classification. Today, CCCME represents more than 10,000 member companies, including leading enterprises in the field of electromechanical trade and a large number of small and medium-size businesses.

Yesterday, CCCME celebrated the opening of its China Hardware& Tools Brand Show (U.S.) in the International Sourcing Area, Booth #849. It was an exciting opportunity for Show attendees to sample the breadth of products Chinese inventors are creating.

“China is the largest developing country in the world,” saysWu Zhengping, general director, Trade Development Bureau ofMinistry of Commerce, PRC. “The U.S. is the largest developed country in the world. China-U.S. relations are of vital importance to the two countries.

“The 2019 Show is a platform for the exchange of ideas between China and the U.S.,” he says.

Two other speakers presented at the ceremony, including Hervé Sedky, President—Americas with Reed Exhibitions, and Wang Jun, deputy director with the Henan Provincial Commerce Department. Following their presentations, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to help celebrate the beginning of the China Hardware & ToolsBrand Show (U.S.).

Be sure to visit the China Hardware & Tools Brand Show and the “Chinese Brand Promotion Zone” to learn more about the manufacturers CCCME represents. 


New brands and new tools are great draws for today’s consumer. A retailer that can deliver a quality brand, plus educate the customer on its value, can quickly build a reputation among consumers and attract repeat business.

YAT “Your Advanced Tool” is ready to bring new products and innovative features to North American retailers.

A world leader in 4-cycle engine technology, YAT offers a variety of products across several platforms, including gas, AC power and the growing Cordless category.

The company is devoted to responsible innovation, with its main tenets being “integrity, innovation, efficiency and sharing.” Come see the enhanced SENIX brand at YAT’s Booth #12563, in the North Hall.

“YAT is dedicated to becoming a world leader in innovation and manufacturing,” says Dan Birch, YAT’s Director of Sales for North America. “With a continuous focus on research and development, we’re looking to bring the best tool options available to North American retailers,” he says.

Founded in 2002, YAT is a global manufacturer now supplying North American retailers with outdoor power equipment, garden machinery and power tools.

YAT’s world headquarters in Jiaxing, China, employs 2,800 people, houses 80 assembly lines and produces 38,000 units of outdoor power equipment and tools a day.

YAT’s North American division is based out of their Customer Support Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Find out more about YAT’s SENIX line of outdoor power tools that are on display at its booth at the National Hardware Show® in tomorrow's Show Daily


Hillman Group is known for its selection of fasteners, but the company offers even more, including home and access, consumer connected and Big Time Products, which Hillman acquired last fall. Hillman continues to grow; the company partnered with minuteKEY recently and helped develop the concept of KeyHero™, a mobile app that makes a digital backup of a key.

Learn more by visiting Hillman Group at Booth #7212


Traveling with your pet and ensuring they have enough food and water for the trip can sometimes end up with a mess. My Pet Pail makes traveling with furry friends simpler. The all-in-one feeding system comes with sealable bowls for food and water, additional 20-ounce containers for more and storage space for canned food or other necessities. The system also includes an extra collar and leash and pet waste disposal bags.

Visit My Pet Pail in Booth #10455


The National Hardware Show® is the place to find new home improvement products. There are several dedicated areas with the latest and greatest products from the industry; in addition, you can find plenty of new and exciting items just by walking the Show Floor.

Below are a few exhibitors with products you can’t miss during your time at the Show.
  • CashierPRO

    CashierPRO offers a point-of-sale and inventory management system for small and mid-size retailers in the home improvement, hardware, farm and building supply sector. This product offers an unbeatable combination of power, price and easy-to-use features, without the need for expensive file servers. Learn more by visiting Booth #2641.
  • Car Keys Express

    Spare your customers the time, expense and hassle of a dealership appointment by bringing a high-profit, modern key replacement to your store. This exhibitor offers covers for 98 percent of vehicles on the road. Easy “do it yourself” solutions are available. The products simplify key replacement, allowing retailers to enter this multibillion-dollar industry. Visit Booth #6240 to learn more.
  • Zingz & Thingz

    This exhibitor offers decorative, intricately designed birdhouses. The designs range from biker bar to a rowboat, and from a fire station to a fairytale cottage birdhouse. There’s a design for any homeowner looking for new outdoor decor. Visit Booth #11259 to see more of these birdhouses.
  • Solo Stove

    These innovative smokeless fire pits are made of stainless steel and allow users to build hotter fires with less smoke. The stoves come in different sizes—no matter the size of the group, there’s a stove for any and all types of gatherings! Learn more at Booth #10149.
  • HomeBiogas

    Treat waste, create cooking gas and transform waste into energy with the HomeBiogas system. After bacteria breaks down the organic waste, HomeBiogas stores and harnesses the energy created so it can be used in other ways. Save money on gas bills and reduce carbon emissions by using this alternative renewable energy source that’s good for the environment. Find out more at Booth #10062


Now that you've had a chance to visit The Backyard Marketplace in Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ, you're probably already brainstorming ways to help make your customers' outdoor oasis dreams come true. Here are three more ways you can add life to outdoor living spaces.

To learn more about popular products and trends, subscribe to the Hot Products Hub newsletter here

Set It and Forget It 

Smart technology has been integrated into practically every aspect of daily life, and its use in outdoor spaces is increasing. From grills (like those by Traeger at Booth #Outdr13104) and lighting that can be controlled from a smartphone, to wireless and Wi-Fi-enabled security systems and doorbells (like Ring at Booth #3439), to robotic assistants like mowers (such as Automower 315 by Husqvarna) and pool cleaners, consumers are demanding more smart products to help them manage their busy lives while still enjoying free time in their backyard oasis.

Add a Splash of Color 

While many design sites talk about the popularity of neutral pallets in decor, that doesn’t mean consumers only want items in white, beige or gray. This year’s Pantone® Color of the Year is Living Coral, a vibrant hue that can lend itself to a variety of design themes, including the beach look or desert-inspired spaces. Outdoor throw pillows and cushions; outdoor rugs; planters and whimsical, contemporary or globally inspired outdoor pieces can lend a splash of color to an otherwise blank canvas. And don’t forget about plants, which can add not only color, but texture and life to a space. 

Be Inspired by Tiny Living 

The tiny home trend is leading consumers to consider alternative options when it comes to outdoor living. With tiny homes, space is at a premium, and many owners do as much as possible to utilize their outdoor spaces for relaxing and entertaining. This also means that outdoor decor must be comfortable and functional, but also must be easy to stow without taking up too much space. Because of this, products like hammocks and hanging chairs have become great alternatives to large traditional seating items. Versatile, comfortable and available in a variety of colors and textures, hammocks and hanging chairs can be used practically anywhere. For more permanent digs, stands can be sold separately for use on patios, porches or in yards.