Reimagine Retail Winner Awarded $100,000

May 09, 2018

(LAS VEGAS, May 9, 2018)—Today at the National Hardware Show®, one lucky retailer received $100,000.

Matt Woods, CEO of Woods Hardware in Cincinnati, Ohio, was chosen as the winner of the Reimagine Retail program, now in its second year.

The store plans to use the prize money to implement a program allowing them 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 complete 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.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” says Woods. “We’ve had this ready to rock and roll—now we just have to hire the team to upgrade our systems. With this prize, we can start taking steps to put our plan into action.”

For this year’s Reimagine Retail program, independent retailers were asked to describe how they would use technology to improve their businesses. Each entrant submitted a 250-word plan detailing how they would 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.

Woods was chosen from five finalists, who were in attendance at the Show and shared their innovative business ideas with other Show attendees during a Reimagine Retail Panel held yesterday on the NRHA Village Stage.

Other finalists included:

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 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.

“This year, we asked our retailers, ‘If you had $100,000 to spend on improving your retail business’s technology, how would you invest it?’” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “These finalists came up with some really great innovative ideas. We received a number of different submissions, and it was a difficult decision. Congratulations to all of our finalists.”

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

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