2012 NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW® DESIGNED TO GROW INDEPENDENT RETAILERS' BUSINESS

Mar 09, 2012

(NORWALK, Conn March 9) - Recognizing that independent home improvement retailers account for some $159 billion in sales annually, the 2012 National Hardware Show® will feature an array of services specifically tailored to assist independent business operators grow their business.

From special Independent Retailers Buying Desks and private lounges for Independent Retailers, to a complete educational lineup and awards programs, the 2012 National Hardware Show will be the ideal location for independent retailers to browse, network, learn and buy.

"Now, more than ever, successful independent retailers are looking for ways to differentiate their operations and develop and implement growth strategies to take them into the future," says Bill Lee, president of the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), which will be hosting its Rethink Retail Conference at this year's National Hardware Show.

"Retailers who attend the National Hardware Show are at a distinct advantage over their competition because the show is the one place where these retailers can see a complete product offering, network with retailers of all types from all over the world and gain valuable insights and information to help them run better and more efficient businesses," Lee says.

A sentiment echoed by retailer Jerry Meis of Lenoch & Cilek Ace Hardware in Iowa City, Iowa.

"Especially if you've never been to the National Hardware Show, it's important to go because it really broadens your horizons and it's impressive to see the selection of merchandise that's available," says Meis. "We're in a college town and we have to be cognizant of leading edge merchandise. The new products area along with the new inventions area allows us to see the leading edge of what are the next great products and give some feedback to those vendors. The Show is also a great way to network with other people in the industry."

Along with the hundreds of thousands of products on display and more than 2,500 vendors offering special programs just for independent retailers who will be on hand at the 2012 National Hardware Show, attendees will find it easier than ever to locate unique products and place their orders for these items while they are at the show.

In addition to the aisles of exciting items attendees will find on the floor, there are areas just for new products and spotlighted categories like Made in USA, Energy-Efficient Products and Tailgate and Outdoor Recreation. Plus, independent retailers will be able to get the products they find at the show into their stores faster and easier than ever thanks to the Retailers Buying Desks at this year's event.

These desks are staffed by the buyers from the industry's leading cooperatives and distributors including True Value, Do it Best and Orgill, and will allow retailers who buy through two-step distribution a convenient way to place orders for the products they find at the show directly through their distribution partners.

Because learning and networking are such an important part of the event for independent retailers, the National Hardware Show team has also worked to enhance the educational and interaction opportunities available at the event. To do this, the National Hardware Show has worked closely with NRHA, which will be offering a complete array of tactical, business-focused seminars and learning sessions at its Rethink Retail Conference, which will take place throughout the show.

With three separate tracks focusing on marketing, training and retail operations, the Rethink Retail Conference is free for independent retailers to attend. "We wanted to make sure that there were no barriers for independent retailers to get the valuable kinds of information we will be offering during this conference," says Scott Wright, NRHA's vice president of member services. "Continued education and networking is vitally important to independent retailers, and we wanted to offer a complete range of programs to meet their needs."

The educational opportunities at the show don't stop at the conference sessions being offered. The NRHA Rethink Retail Conference will also extend to the NRHA Village, where the industry's most well-recognized speakers and analysts will be delivering even more information to the industry.

The NRHA Village Stage will also host a number of awards sessions specifically designed to recognize the industry's leading independent retailers and channel partners who are dedicated to meeting their needs. From the always popular NRHA Top Guns program, which highlights the accomplishments of four of the industry's most influential independent retailers, to the Retailers' Choice Awards, which features products from the show floor that were selected by a panel of retailers for special distinction, independent retailers are in the spotlight.

On Tuesday evening, the opening night of the show, this spotlight will shine on the future of independent home improvement retailing as the NRHA honors its Young Retailers of the Year. This emotional awards ceremony features the industry's best and brightest retailers who are under the age of 35 and are emerging as the next generation of thought leaders for the industry.

The National Hardware Show has also made it more cost-effective than ever for independent retailers to attend the event with the introduction of the Total Convenience Travel Package. The Total Convenience Travel Package allows independent retailers to stay at one of the official National Hardware Show hotels and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner all for just $145 per day (subject to availability). This package is available ONLY at www.NationalHardwareShow.com

This special travel package is exclusively for independent retailers attending the show. "We feel it is so important for independent retailers to be able to get to the show and experience all that it has to offer that we wanted to make sure that cost was not a barrier to their attendance, so we came up with this program to make it affordable for independent retailers of any size," says Sonya Ruff Jarvis, vice president of attendee programs for the show.

Another draw for independent retailers will be the co-location with Lancaster's West Coast buying show.

Lancaster, the nation's largest paint sundry distributor servicing a broad range of independent paint and hardware retailers, will be co-locating its West Coast buying show with the National Hardware Show, which will bring an even broader and more diverse selection of manufacturers to the event including such well-known brands as Rust-Oleum, DAP, Purdy Brush, Krylon and more.

About the National Hardware Show
The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning 66 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 insights to a broad spectrum of home improvement resellers.

For more information on the National Hardware Show and to register, visit www.NationalHardwareShow.com.

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