The Momentum Continues During the Second Day of The National Hardware Show®

May 07, 2014

(NORWALK, Conn. May 7, 2014) — The excitement that got the National Hardware Show® off to a strong start yesterday continued today during day two of the event, which runs through tomorrow at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Today’s show theme is Made in the USA, and the day kicked off with a patriotic start that included a local high school band and cannons with red, white and blue confetti.

Attendees and exhibitors alike were impressed with the strong turnout and enthusiasm at the show.

“It’s our first year at the show, and it’s much bigger than we expected,” says Nikki Salek, COO of Simply Soothing, “but it’s been good. It’s been busy. We’re hoping to get more retailers interested in our products. We’re based in the Midwest and looking to branch out into other areas as well.”

“It looks like it’s been a lot busier than the past couple of years,” says T.J. Comstock, owner of Northwest Hardware. “It seems like there’s a larger independent retailer presence, and vendors seem to be responding well to those independent retailers.”


Activity continued on the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) Village Stage as speakers gathered to talk about homebuying, social media marketing and more.

Jaime Koch, managing editor of Hardware Retailing magazine, moderated a panel that included homeowners and renters, who discussed what they were looking for in purchasing a home and more about their shopping experiences as they do home improvement projects in their homes.

Panelists included homeowner and investor Hillary Steinberg, renter and decorator Christi Tasker and homeowners Andrea Whiteman and Danny Vegas. All panelists stressed they were looking for a lifestyle when making a home purchase and noted how much they value customer engagement at the retail level.

“A lot of retailers, wholesalers and distributors still have a traditional view of who’s buying homes today,” Koch says. “Homeowners are very dynamic and very different in today’s environment—they’re flippers, investors, family members purchasing together.”

Next up on the Village Stage was Jill Waage, editorial director of home content with Better Homes and Gardens. Waage gave a keynote presentation, “Millennial Homebuying Preferences,” which talked about how millennials are coming to market armed with knowledge and a sense of personal style aesthetic, but still need retailers to give them guidance through the process.

She also discussed millennials’ creative urgency and how it sets them apart from other generations. They are also tech-savvy and ready to purchase when they’ve made up their minds on a project: According to a 2013 Gfk Roper study, 74 percent of millennials who use apps and 68 percent who use social networks to get ideas about home improvement plan to do home redecorating this year.

“Retailers and other members of the home improvement industry have the opportunity to collaborate on their wish lists and goals,” Waage says. “Will you be their collaborators on their paths to purchase?”

Patrick Curry, president of FootSteps Marketing, LLC, also spoke about online and social media marketing, and Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV’s show “Property Brothers,” talked about keeping up with trends while staying on a budget.

Specialty Areas

The show floor stayed busy during the second day of the show. The international area was full of exhibitors from all over the world, showcasing the global effect of the National Hardware Show.

One such exhibitor was Ofertex Textile Recreation, an Israeli company that uses salvaged virgin textile materials to make kitchen cleaning cloths, towels, doormats and pet beds.

“There are many innovative products on the market,” says Richard C. Jones, vice president of sales and marketing for Ofertex. “For us, we wanted to do something that was innovative and environmentally friendly. There are many different kinds of new products for different needs. We targeted the housewares niche and see that as an area of growth.”

Energy efficiency continues to be more and more popular among consumers. What was a trend five years ago is now more commonplace and, in many cases expected, today.

“What we like about the National Hardware Show is the vast array of opportunities to show off energy-efficient products that are revolutionary for consumers,” says Michael Munsterman, chief executive officer of The Living Well Co. “It’s our second year of being part of the energy-efficiency category at the show, and we see huge value in that. We see the feelings about the benefits of energy efficiency becoming more and more common in the U.S., and we continue to look for people to make buying decisions and forming habits that reflect those attitudes.”

The Innovation Station, in Room N109, includes New Product World and Inventor’s Spotlight and is the place to be to see new products. It was packed with exhibitors showing off their newest products and attendees eager to see the new products out there.

“We’re seeing good traffic and getting the word out about our product,” says Julie Skirvin, owner of The Candle Scoop, which makes a scoop that scoops wax out of a candle and puts it in a burner so it can be burned without an open flame. “We’re looking forward to making new contacts here at the show.”

Products that are Made in the USA continue to be popular among consumers, and once again, the National Hardware Show showcases a variety of these American-made products in a special Made in USA category. This area has more than 125 exhibitors, giving attendees plenty of opportunities to source products that are proudly Made in the USA.

“I think it’s great that more people are getting interested in Made in USA products,” says Harold G. Warp, president and owner of Warp’s. “We’ve had a lot of buyers come by—we’ve seen old friends, new friends, loyal friends. My dad started the business in 1924, so we’re celebrating our 90th anniversary this year. Not only are all our products made in the USA, but we’re veteran-owned—I think these are both things people like.”


This afternoon, three of the industry’s most innovative retailers were recognized during Hardware Retailing magazine’s Industry Top Guns program.

“When we first launched the Top Gun Awards program together with the National Hardware Show, we wanted to illustrate to people throughout the industry, and even those on the outside watching the industry, that the independent retail channel is doing far more than just surviving,” says Bill Lee, NRHA president and CEO. “We wanted to tell the stories of the independent retail operators who are succeeding and who are growing and doing exciting, dynamic things, both within their businesses and within the channel.”

The list of this year’s Top Guns includes Brent Burger, representing Campbell’s True Value, with five retail locations throughout Maine; Joe Taylor of Taylor’s Do it Centers, with 11 retail locations throughout Virginia; and Michael Wynn, representing Sunshine Ace Hardware with six retail locations throughout Florida.

“You can compete, no problem, in today's environment,” says Burger, “but you just have to compete differently than the mass merchants. You have to be willing to be open to changes in the market, changes with customers and changes with the industry.”

Taylor agrees: “You do have to change to compete in today's environment; basic hardware remains, but you should always be looking for niche categories,” he says.

“We all like to play the underdog, a have chip on shoulder, be aggressive and feel like we are battling a Goliath,” says Wynn. “That motivates us and our people and constantly teaches us to change and make our stores be like laboratories to allow ideas to ferment upward."

For more than 30 years, Hardware Retailing magazine has been recognizing exhibitors’ innovation and showcasing the best of the best products at the National Hardware Show with its Retailers’ Choice Awards.

“Retailers are always interested in finding innovative new products, and the best of the best products in the home improvement industry,” says Dan Tratensek, publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine. “It’s also a great opportunity to thank the manufacturers who play such a large role in bringing these products to market.”

Below are the winners:

Booth 8008

Bag Clip
Booth 10255

Bed Light
Booth 3527

BiOrb Domes
Booth 12267

Booth 5524

Bungee Clip
Booth 2347

Booth 7206

Chilly Pad
Booth 12273

Citronella Lantern & Streamers
Booth 10507

Booth 4519

Connector Noodles
Booth 10072

EZ Floor Guards
Booth 5610

Fire Fishing Pole
Booth 10254

Booth 8154

Fresh Tape
Booth 2154

Gator Grip
Booth 7639

Generator Alert System
Booth 6413

Ice Tubes Tray
Booth 7639

Kosmo Cooler
Booth TG108

LED Dynamo Torch
Booth 8945

Little Burro
Booth LG28

Plant Tongs
Booth 10230

Booth 10230

Red Hed Pant System
Booth 12830      

Sound Cap
Booth 7639

Sure Can
Booth 8465

Booth 10230

Warm Beer Sucks
Booth TG533

Members of the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA) and the National Hardware Show presented the PDRA’s annual $5,000 scholarship to Ali Walters, a college student and employee with Columbia Paint & Wallcover in Columbia, Tennessee.

Walters left for college in 2012 but still fills in regularly at the store during breaks. Zeke Maddux of Columbia Paint & Wallcover, who nominated her for the award, accepted it on her behalf.

“I wanted to say thank you on behalf of Ali, who can’t be here today but was very excited to hear she’d won,” says Maddux.

“One of the very important components we offer in fulfilling our mission statement is this scholarship, which is made possible by the generosity of the National Hardware Show,” says Jeff Baggaley, president of PDRA.

Lancaster Buying Show

For the third year, the Lancaster West Coast Buying Show is co-locating with the National Hardware Show. Lancaster’s show, which opened today, is being held in the Riviera Hotel & Casino, and will continue from 8 a.m. to noon tomorrow, May 8.

About the National Hardware Show
The National Hardware Show celebrates a rich history spanning 69 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 insight to a broad spectrum of home improvement resellers. For more information on the National Hardware Show, visit

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