Cologne Hardware Fair sees strength in power tools
Organizers of the Internationale Eisenwarenmesse — or, International Hardware Fair — are seeing growing industry demand in worldwide hand-held power tools.
According to Koelnmesse, the 2010 growth rates in Europe matched the ones in Asia with 8%. Europe is currently the world’s largest market for handheld power tools (EUR 3.2 billion) followed by North America (EUR 1.9 billion) and the Asia Pacific region (EUR 1.5 billion).
The underlying optimism is reflected in strong and early commitments by exhibitors to the International Hardware Fair slated for Cologne, Germany, March 4 to 7, 2012, at the Koelnmesse Convention Center.
The 2012 hardware fair offerings will be divided into the product segments Tools, Industrial Supply, Fasteners and Fixings, Fittings, and Home Improvement. The “Industrial Supply Segment” will feature companies such as Hailo, Keter Plastic, Annovi Reverberi and Telwin. Prominent names in the Fasteners, Fixings & Fittings segment will be AS Schellenberg, GAH Alberts, Heco, Hettich, HSI Schwerter and Schäfers & Peters. Most prominent hand tool exhibitors will be Apex, Gedore, Hazet, Ega Master, Knipex, Rothenberger, Tyrolit and Unior.
Koelnmesse said the event is regularly attended by buying teams from retailer chains such as OBI, Praktiker, Bauhaus, Toom and Hagebau from Germany; BricoMarche, Castorama, Leroy Merlin from France; Focus DIY, Kingfisher, Wickes from the UK; BauMaxx from Austria, Jumbo from Switzerland and Woodie’s from Ireland.
More than 70 North American companies will look to expand their export business by exhibiting at this event. Many of them will take space in Hall 4.2 where U.S. companies will exhibit either in the group exhibits provided by the AHMA (American Hardware Manufacturers Association), the Worldwide DIY Council or with Koelnmesse.
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Overstock Craftsman tools found at Menards
Postings and photographs on garagejournal.com have reported seeing Craftsman tool sets on sale at their local Menards stores. Sightings of a 104-piece Mechanics tool set selling for $99.95 in a Menards in Schererville, Ind., launched a discussion among tool aficionados about the price — considered on the high side — and how the tools ended up there in the first place.
Ace Hardware had announced an exclusive merchandising agreement allowing its dealers to sell Craftsman-branded tools in 2010, and the Oak Brook, Ill., buying group has been rolling out the program this year to hundreds of member stores. Ace did not answer a request for comment from Home Channel News on the Craftsman tools showing up at Menards.
The co-op has responded to concerns from its dealers, however. In a copy of an Ace Hardware memo obtained by Home Channel News, Ace merchants told members that the Craftsman tools at Menards were “overstock Craftsman inventory” and a one-time event. Ace members were assured that the $2 million buy was isolated to a limited number of SKUS.
“Sears’ EVP has given us clear assurances that this is NOT an on-going event or the beginning of a program with Menards,” the memo stated.
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In California, Orchard Supply reaches for its niche
An article in the San Jose Mercury News reported that Orchard Supply Hardware is working to distinguish itself from big and small competitors.
In addition to introducing a new logo and a new brand name — "Orchard" — the San Jose, Calif.-based company intends to earn a reputation as the place for backyard home improvement.
According to Tom Carey, senior VP for Orchard, the 89-store chain anticipates growth, perhaps even at the rate of 10 to 15 stores a year.
"Hardware stores should be fun," Carey told MercuryNews.com in an article about the challenges and opportunities for the California hardware chain.
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