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Energy-saving products flood NHS

BY Brae Canlen

Las Vegas — Energy efficiency, a consumer focus that is influencing the residential building industry, is moving into the home improvement sector as well, judging from the exhibits at the National Hardware Show. Vendors with energy-saving products could be found in almost every category, and were marked with a special decal this year.

LED Lighting products flooded both halls, working their way through lawn and garden to electrical, homewares and even tools. Coast, a longtime maker of LED flashlights, brought models with a telescoping end that shapes the size of the beam. The Portland, Ore., manufacturer also debuted a patented multi-tool with a built-in LED light.

Heating and cooling costs are top of mind for homeowners, and a new generation of space heaters promises warmth with minimum energy consumption. Heat Storm introduced a quartz infrared wall heater that consumes only 1,000 watts. Other manufacturers focused on cooling, especially on patios and other outdoor living settings. Port-A-Cool displayed an entire line of evaporative coolers that can be used indoors and out, including as spot coolers in air-conditioned homes.

“You can use it to supplement air conditioning,” said Leon Aldridge, director of marketing and advertising. At 25 cents to 50 cents a day to operate, the evaporative coolers are an energy bargain.

A firm called EnerG+ promised to extend the summer with outdoor/indoor water-resistant infrared electric heaters that use standard AC wall units. A down-under company called Environmental Sciences Australia combined daylight and natural ventilation in one product via a directional exhaust ventilation system connected in a light pipe. The system uses no energy and creates a healthy home, the manufacturer claimed. 

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I.MacCormick says:
Jun-18-2014 12:14 pm

I think heating and cooling
I think heating and cooling systems like Ventis for proper home ventilation plays an important role in making home energy efficient.

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National Hardware Show rolls in Vegas

BY Ken Clark

Las Vegas — The networking, the education and the product pitching began in spades at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning with the opening of the 2012 National Hardware Show.

Buyers and retailers come for many reasons, one of which was articulated by Dan Fesler, CEO of St. Paul, Minn.-based Lamperts: "You have to take a look at what’s out there every once in a while." 

That advice is music to the ears of the show’s organizers. One of them, VP attendee programs Sonya Ruff Jarvis told Home Channel News the show is expected to be larger than last year’s event, plus attentive to the needs of the retailers. "Coming into this show, every indictor was pointing up," she said. "Pre-registered attendance was trending up, so we’re excited." She pointed to new areas for pet products, "Made in USA" products and energy-efficient products as examples of better organization designed to tap into retail trends.

Some 2,500 exhibitors are displaying products here at the Las Vegas Convention Center, including General Tools, a company celebrating its 90th anniversary with a birthday cake in its booth. At the booth, chairman Gerry Weinstein celebrated the pioneering spirit of his grandparents Abraham and Lillian Rosenberg who founded the company and carefully scouted factories throughout the Northeast.  "They were the original outsourcers," he said.

What was their first product? That’s unclear. "We think it was the egg slicer," he said.

During a keynote presentation at the North American Retail Hardware Association’s Village Stage, former Wal-Mart executive Michael Bergdahl described the importance of risk taking in the early days of Wal-Mart and for the modern hardware store. "In the early days of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton took risks and nine out of ten times, he failed," said Bergdahl, who was director of people for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant.

Companies that encourage employees to take risks, and accept the good along with the bad, are the ones most likely to win, he said. "You will take risks as a merchant. Some time, you will hit a home run." 

On the same stage also on Tuesday, a panel discussion titled "Trends in the paint and sundries industry" revealed challenges and opportunities. Fuel costs and freight charges were cited as one challenge by the panel of vendors from Red Devil, Ames Research and Giani. As for opporunities? "The remodeling market is where the money is going to be for the next several years," said Peter Cary from Ames Research.

The event, which is attracting about 30,000 industry professionals, features some 800 new exhibitors. The show runs through Thursday. 

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HCN introduces Hardware Store Connect

BY HBSDealer Staff

Designed for hardware store owners and operators, Hardware Store Connect taps the latest technology to create a powerful and professional networking tool.

The online resource at HardwareStoreConnect.com officially launches April 30 and brings a professional, closed-loop networking tool to hardware store retailers. 

Registration is free. And the powerful tool allows registered users to create or join discussions; join groups; network with the community; and share thoughts, problems and solutions. 

A feature called “Ask the Experts” allows registered hardware store members to pose questions to a hand-picked panel of industry experts, in fields ranging from management to merchandising.

“We at Home Channel News take very seriously our goal of building high-quality communities of retailers,” said editor Ken Clark. “We are very excited to launch Hardware Store Connect, and we are committed to developing this project to serve the hardware stores and the people who run them.”

A sneak peak video demonstration is available here.

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