At Ace event, a tour through the aisles

Products – and messaging – from the Ace Spring show in San Antonio.
Cool Sox at Ace spring show 2023
“Hardware and variety are morphing together more and more,” said Kameron Killegrew, representative of Cool Sox, speaking from the Ace Hardware spring 2023 show floor in San Antonio.

More than just products were rolling out at the Ace Hardware 2023 spring show in Texas.

Messages from vendors were in the air as well (along with some rock ’n roll tunes).

“Hardware and variety are morphing together more and more,” said Kameron Killegrew, representative of Cool Sox, standing in his booth not far from noisy aisles full of toys and housewares and jammed with attendees.

His booth had a wall of colorful socks with expressions, some which can’t be printed here.

“We’re seeing more and more sales in hardware,” he said of their socks.

Soda Stream Pepsi
Soda Stream and Pepsi partner to put more fizz in their businesses, rolling out at the Ace show now.

And what’s their biggest seller?

“Anything related to food and beverage brands on the socks sell. And do they sell.”

Another “morph” of a type was being announced over at the Soda Stream booth, where they’ve seen increased sales from hardware.

“Soda Stream is phasing in Pepsi flavors. It’s going to be big, partnering with Pepsi starting this month,” said a representative in their booth.

Craftsman cordless fan
The Craftsman cordless fan brought out for display to HBSDealer at the show.

The more traditional players in hardware had new rollouts as well. Some won’t hit the marketplace for a couple months.

One example was at Craftsman, which is launching its cordless fan this May.

A flow of attendees is circling the area and noticing the item, just brought out for display for HBSDealer. A couple cell phone cameras are out, and buttons are being pushed.

Nearby, Stihl is drawing a sizeable crowd to its expansive booth right in the geographic center of the show floor. But we’ll get back to them in a moment because attention is now on another tool maker right next door to Craftsman.

DeWalt ToughSystems 2.0
The DeWalt ToughSystems 2.0 charger box coming to hardware stores soon.

It’s DeWalt, where booth rep Brett Thieme is showing off the ToughSystem 2.0 charger box to HBSDealer.

“Workmen take the box and drill a hole in the side so they can keep it constantly charged,” he pointed out. “We don’t recommend this because it’s made to be waterproof, but of course they do what they do. They love this box.”

There’s lots to see at this Ace show but the Stihl layout and its demo booth with chain saws is calling.

Stihl MSA 300
Joe Hickey at Stihl, shows off the MSA 300 battery-operated chain saw in the demo booth.

Joe Hickey, sales representative takes me inside to check out their newest offering, the MSA 300 battery-operated chain saw.

“This is being rolled out at the show,” he said, holding the chain saw up to a wood log to display.

We didn’t make a cut, this time – others were waiting to see it too – but there’s always another time.

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