National Hardware Show® to Expand Tailgate Pavilion at 2011 event, including a brand-new Camping & Picnic Products area

Oct 12, 2010

National Hardware Show® to Expand Tailgate Pavilion at 2011 event, including a brand-new Camping & Picnic Products area

After a highly successful debut at the 2010 edition of the National Hardware Show®, the Tailgate Product Merchandising Pavilion is being expanded in 2011 to feature Camping & Picnic products. Based on research, the National Hardware Show® discovered that more and more home improvement, hardware and general merchandise retailers are focusing shelf space on Camping & Picnic products to drive incremental traffic, sales and per customer transaction. The 2011 National Hardware Show® will be held May 10-12, in Las Vegas and will present this newly expanded area as a tool for retailers to discover new vendors and learn more about the benefits of merchandising this category. The Tailgate, Camping & Picnic Products Pavilion will once again be located in the Las Vegas Convention Center's Silver Parking Lot and feature more than 100 exhibitors - compared to 40 in 2010 - in such key product categories as BBQ, licensed produces, coolers, grills/grill accessories, rubs, outdoor games and tents/shelter, as well as a brand new Camping & Picnic area. Attendees can also look forward to a Tailgate Party with food samples, beverages and contests.

More than 50 million people engage in tailgating each year in North America alone, according to Tailgater Monthly Magazine, which is endorsing the Tailgate Product Merchandising Pavilion in 2011. Tailgater Monthly Magazine Publisher/CEO Kevin Miller calls tailgating an "emerging market," adding, "It's here and it's growing. More retailers are designating a space in their stores for tailgating, and more and more of the larger manufacturers - particularly grill manufacturers - are finding it extremely lucrative." Exhibitors already signed up for the 2011 event include Pieson Pizza Ovens, Goal0, Fire Wire, Jensen Corp., Clink N Drink, Outdoors Unlimited, Logo Chairs, Inc. and Eagle Nest Outfitters, while top sponsors of the section include Meco Corporation, E-Z Grill, Utilitymate and Char-Broil, which will once again bring its Mobile Tour to the event.

"We made the most out of our participation in the tailgating section last year. It was a great way to expand our involvement in the National Hardware Show and demo our products," said Michelle Geller, vice president of marketing for Char-Broil. "Char-Broil is singularly focused on offering consumers products that will make outdoor cooking easier and more enjoyable, whether they're grilling at home or on the go. As American consumers refocus their priorities and spend more time at home, at a campsite or tailgating, we see a tremendous opportunity to offer grills, smokers, accessories and other products that will make that cooking experience even better."

The newly coined "National Hardware Show® held in conjunction with the NRHA All-Industry Convention" will incorporate all of the programming the NRHA currently offers at its annual meeting - including the Young Retailer of the Year and Retail Innovators of the Year awards - while allowing the two organizations to more fully serve the industry in one annual gathering. "A New Way to Market" will be the major theme of the 2011 event, which promises to expand on an already impressive list of global attendees, not only from traditional retail and wholesale outlets but untraditional channels like grocery, mass, drug, catalog and the Internet - all representing almost $240 billion in sales revenue. In addition to Tailgating, product categories represented will also include Hardware & Tools; Homewares; Lawn & Garden; Paint & Accessories; Plumbing & Electrical; and Storage & Organization; with core product categories also being showcased in the Show's International Sourcing area. In addition, the Show will continue to offer exciting special events, including product demonstrations, NRHA TV and Social Networking Roundtables, as well as informative addresses by industry experts.

Many of the buyers who regularly attend the National Hardware Show® are excited about the Tailgate, Camping & Picnic Products Pavilion and its expansion in 2011. For Mickey Schulte, vice president of purchasing and marketing for Handy Hardware Wholesale Inc., which distributes to more than 1,100 independent hardware stores in nine states, the section appeals to a segment of his customer base that does well with this category during the football/hunting season. "These types of product are important because items like this are not prices shopped as much and give the retailers a better chance of making money," Schulte said. "The National Hardware Show is the best place to get to the real decision makers from companies. Everyone is in the same place and deals can get done. Vendors need to be there. If they are not in front of us at the Hardware Show, their competition probably is."

Westlake Ace Hardware, a chain of more than 85 stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, has expanded its Tailgating section over the last two years, increasing the number of grills it stocks for fall and adding accessories like different kinds of charcoal and smoking woods. "Tailgating is a growing category for us and a natural progression for our customer, who spends the spring prepping the yard and the summer enjoying it, and then the next step for fall is tailgating," said Jeni Ganzman, Westlake's lawn & garden/outdoor living buyer. "The tailgating section at the Hardware Show is a great place for us to see new products and see them demonstrated and displayed - a place to get real hands-on experience."

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.

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