A big show gets bigger in 2018
In many ways, the National Hardware Show will celebrate great brands. In other ways, it’s designed to help dealers discover unknown players that have yet to hit the market.
Such diversity of mission comes with the territory at the North American hardware industry’s biggest event of the year. Set for the Las Vegas Convention Center from May 8 to 10, the big show will launch new products at the aptly named “New Product Launch” in the Central Lobby. Meanwhile, the North and Central halls will hum with national and international brands.
From Briggs & Stratton and Black Mamba Gloves to Hickory Hardware and Honey-Can-Do, vendors on the show will offer merchandising ideas, buying opportunities and money-saving deals. The company expects to ride the rising optimism within the home improvement industry and build on last year’s participation when the show drew more than 30,000 industry professionals.
National Hardware Show attendees have a variety of reasons to attend the Las Vegas event. Their motives are as individual as their business, but there are several common denominators, according to the organizers of the event.
For instance, 83% of attendees say new products/categories are the primary reason to attend. And these aren’t just lookie lous, 86% said they plan on purchasing and sourcing new products when they attend. And 28% of attendees estimate an annual budget of more than $10 million for products and services seen at the show.
The something-for-everyone feel of the show is on display by the variety of events and featured areas.
- The Ultimate Backyard Experience. This feature will inject a real, backyard flavor into the popular outdoor exhibit area offering attendees an engaging way to experience new products in the environment they are intended for—the great outdoors.
- Smart Home Virtual Reality Experience. Also new, riding a trend that bridges consumer electronics and home improvement, this new area will feature a virtual Smart Home tour and interactive display.
- The American Manufacturing Awards will once again highlight the cream of the crop of domestic products on display in the Central Lobby.
- The Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Awards product display will focus on innovative products.
One traditional attraction of the National Hardware Show is the ability to network and learn from peers and experts. Among the movers and shakers lined up to participate in Las Vegas is Jason Ballard, co-founder and president of TreeHouse, the home improvement retailer that describes itself as the “world’s first home upgrade company.”
Also lined up to speak is Jules Pieri, co-founder and CEO of The Grommet, a website that has launched more than 2,500 consumer products since 2008. Ace Hardware Corp. purchased The Grommet in 2017.
Both are participating in the 2018 NRHA All-Industry Conference in partnership with the National Hardware Show.
The show runs on a Tuesday to Thursday schedule. Visit nationalhardwareshow.com for information, schedules and exhibitors.
“In addition to bringing the industry together to unveil those new products, new companies and inventions, the National Hardware Show is proud to honor some of the best and brightest ideas and new products coming to market each year,” said Rich Russo, industry VP of the National Hardware Show.
Fastening a trail of innovation
Cologne, Germany — Innovation that fits comfortably in the tradesman’s hand took the spotlight during the Eisen Award 2018 program here at the International Hardware Fair in Cologne. The awards gave special honors to a handy rope cutter, an electric screwdriver and a reversible ratchet.
The Eisen Awards program at the International Hardware Fair, known as “Eisenwarenmesse” here in Germany, now in its fourth iteration featured 12 product nominees and was again judged by an industry jury. And once again, a dedicated area in the sprawling Koelnmesse convention center gave all the nominees exposure in a museum-like setting, complete with glass encased exhibits of the rugged hardware products.
Three companies — all with brands more familiar in Germany than in the United States — received the Eisen Innovation Award.
- Knipex wire rope cutter was described as a high-performing, light weight and compact cutting tool. Judges liked the design and the functionality.
- Hazet reversible ratchet. Noted for its chrome-plated surface, judges liked the products power and ability to operate in cramped spaces.
- The WIHA speedE electronic screwdriver generated this comment from the judges: “Electricians are impressed. It is kind on the wrists, fast, productive and ergonomic.”
The Eisen Award 2018 ceremony took place during a Welcome Party on first night of the event. Held every other year here in Cologne, the trade fair runs March 4-7.
LBM Advantage gets ‘together’ in Florida
While the Six Million Dollar Man was known for being “better, faster, stronger,” LBM Advantage was busy being “Better. Stronger. Together.” at its recent meeting and trade show.
Held at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla., the meeting celebrated the cooperative’s expanded membership following the 2017 merger and acquisition with IBSA.
With record member and vendor attendance, LBM Advantage also generated its highest amount of trade show sales, kicking off what is forecast to be a banner year, the cooperative said. Members in attendance were able to take advantage of show specials and co-op exclusives while having fun at the show.
With a “Game On: What’s Your Next Move?” theme, members had several opportunities to learn and plan for the future of their individual businesses by networking with peers and participating in seminars that provided an assortment of ideas and information. Members benefitted from a special owners series of seminars focusing on business succession and the mergers and acquisitions market. Members also had the opportunity to make on-site appointments with the presenters for individual consultation. Other seminars presented by industry professionals covered topics on product innovations, the roofing industry, and logistics.
Continuing with LBM Advantage’s show theme, keynote speaker Dr. Robert Dietz, chief economist from the National Association of Home Builders, addressed attendees on economic and housing expectations for 2018 while providing dealers with pivotal information.
Underscoring its mission to create a competitive advantage for its members, LBM Advantage’s National Buying Power initiative provides even more ways for members to grow their companies and benefit from the cooperative. The newest item presented was a travel incentives program designed to give members another avenue for enhancing business relationships.
At their annual meeting, LBM Advantage shareholders examined details of the performance of their cooperative. Because of their strong participation and support of the cooperative throughout the year, they have achieved a return exceeding budgeted forecast.
Shareholders also voted on candidates for the 2018 Board of Directors.
Richard Herrington of Ed Herrington Inc., Hillsdale, N.Y., and Chris O’Neill of Kellogg Supply Co., Manteo, N.C., were appointed to the board on Feb. 7 and were formally elected as directors during the meeting. Shareholders also re-elected directors Sam Collins of S.W. Collins Co., Caribou, Maine; David Moore of Wiley Bros. Inc., Schaghticoke, N.Y.; and Bill Newman of Oxford Lumber, Oxford, Ala., for an additional term.
“The show was absolutely great this year. The addition of even more retailers made the vendors very happy,” said Vince Valentino, president of Cleveland Lumber Co. in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Advantage members are experiencing the value of being part of the fastest growing building material cooperative,” said Steve Sallah, president and CEO of LBM Advantage. “Advantage staff works aggressively every day to earn their business, and provide each dealer the resources to profitably grow their company and remain independent in their market.”
LBM Advantage is a member-owned forest products and building materials cooperative. The co-op operates locations in New Windsor, N.Y.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Smithfield, N.C.; and Monroe, La.