2018 Reimagine Retail Program to Award $100,000 to Innovative Home Improvement Retailer

May 01, 2018

(NORWALK, Connecticut, May 1, 2018)—The National Hardware Show® is proud to present the 2018 Reimagine Retail program! Now in its second year, Reimagine Retail helps independent retailers across the country put ambitious business improvement plans into action to boost their business’s sales, engage their customers and enrich their local economy.

After independent home improvement retailers submitted ideas on how they would use technology to strengthen their businesses for the future, a panel of industry leaders reviewed the submissions. Show attendees will have the chance to meet the five 2018 Reimagine Retail finalists at this year’s National Hardware Show, next week: Tuesday, May 8, through Thursday, May 10, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. On Wednesday, May 9, Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show, will announce the next Reimagine Retail winner, who will receive $100,000 to make their business improvement plans a reality.

“Reimagine Retail is focused on helping independent retailers continue to compete and succeed in today’s marketplace,” says Russo. “In the age of big-box and online competition, we wanted to not only come up with a program to help fund future small business projects for a deserving winner, but also provide a platform for retailers to learn from each other. We can’t wait to announce the 2018 Reimagine Retail winner and see them take their business to new heights.”

A Focus on Technology

For this year’s Reimagine Retail program, independent retailers were asked to describe how they would use technology to improve their businesses. Retailers submitted a 250-word plan to incorporate technology in their operations. Retailers were encouraged to consider how technology could streamline their inventory management systems, checkout process, marketing initiatives, e-commerce offerings and training programs. The five finalists all take unique approaches to implementing technology, but all share the common goal of making their businesses more efficient and more customer-friendly.

Meet the 2018 Reimagine Retail Finalists

After reviewing innovative submissions from retailers across the country, five finalists emerged for the 2018 Reimagine Retail prize. These five retailers represent the independent retailers desire to strengthen their businesses and enrich their communities through technology.

The Color House

Wakefield, Rhode Island

The team at The Color House has a vision to make their rewards program stand out. The business plans to use the social media platforms where its customers spend most of their time to build its network. In addition to earning rewards for purchases, customers would also earn rewards for referrals, reviews and social media sharing. They would be able to see how close they are to their next reward, and those who engage the most would earn exclusive perks.

Just Grillin Inc.

Tampa, Florida

In its showroom, Just Grillin Inc. imagines a connected space to allow customers to actually see what their new living space could look like. Through tablets, mounted TVs and voice-activated smart home assistants, the company will be able to take customers on a virtual tour of their proposed outdoor living renovation. In addition, Just Grillin plans to enhance its marketing and website to attract new customers to the in-store connected showroom.

La Grange Park Ace Hardware

La Grange Park, Illinois

La Grange Park Ace Hardware aims to use technology to streamline online orders and better serve customers. The store plans to install parcel lockers to facilitate the increasing number of buy online/pickup in store orders it receives. Customers can use the lockers to get their online orders and even rent tools directly from La Grange Park Ace Hardware. The company also plans to install a Perfect Plant kiosk to help manage its live goods inventory.

Weeks Home Hardware

Waterdown, Ontario

The team from Weeks Home Hardware wants to use technology to track customers, install self-serve kiosks and build an e-commerce platform. Using an array of digital tools, the business seeks to understand how customers move and interact within the store. The company plans to use kiosks at the entrance of the building to give customers digital access to flyers and coupons. Weeks Home Hardware also wants to integrate an e-commerce platform with its inventory management system to allow customers to view and purchase items online and receive in-store pickup.

Woods Hardware

Cincinnati, Ohio

Woods Hardware wants to offer same-day delivery to customers within a three-mile radius of each of its five stores. The business has already developed a 3D walkthrough of its downtown store that links to the e-commerce website. The fully realized plan would allow customers to virtually walk through the aisles of the store, click on an item and have it delivered the same day. To implement the system, Woods Hardware needs to make significant improvements to its POS system so it can send accurate inventory data to the website in real time. The company also wants to hire a full-time IT professional to manage the system.

2017 Reimagine Retail Winner Opens Restaurant Within His Hardware Store

One year ago, Robert Lau’s ambition to open a farm-to-table restaurant at the hardware store he owns, Caribou Jack’s Trading Co. in Soda Springs, Idaho, was just a dream. But after submitting his idea of reformatting his existing hardware store to include a restaurant that sourced ingredients from local vendors, he was selected as the first-ever Reimagine Retail winner. He celebrated the grand opening of Caribou Jack’s BBQ in April 2018.

See the 2018 Reimagine Retail Winner Announcement on May 9

On Wednesday, May 9, Reimagine Retail’s second winner will be announced live from the NRHA Village Stage. Russo, Lau, Reimagine Retail representatives and other independent home improvement figures will be on hand to congratulate this year’s lucky retailer and celebrate the innovation each finalist embodies.

Don’t miss a moment of the action! You can still register to attend the 2018 National Hardware Show and see the $100,000 Reimagine Retail announcement by visiting www.nationalhardwareshow.com/Register-Now/.

About the National Hardware Show

The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning nearly 75 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War 2 housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, NHS continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving America’s quality of life through their homes. Today, NHS is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to get an unfiltered view of the industry, hands-on experiences, and access to the latest innovations and retail trends to enhance their business. For more information on the National Hardware Show, visit www.nationalhardwareshow.com/.

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