Product diversity on display in Las Vegas
New faces and veteran exhibitors gathered in the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday for the 2011 National Hardware Show. Always a collection of innovative new products and packaging, this year proved to be no exception, with offerings like the Easy Reach Plant Pulley (you can raise and lower hanging plants to water them) and Heat Zone, a shop light with a heater and a fan, both on display in New Product World.
Larger companies like Flexon, a manufacturer of hoses and watering accessories, took the opportunity to broaden into new categories. Flexon debuted a line of lightweight planters, gardening hand tools (long-handled, short-handled and cutting tools), and even a new wheelbarrow. In the paint and sundries department, Padco — the inventor of the painting pad — brought out a niche line of green products made of 100% recycled plastic, cardboard and soy ink.
Vermont American returned to the show after a 10-year absence with a 12-ft. planogram of power tool accessories. “The hardware show is a great venue to reconnect with your retailers, your key buyers,” said group marketing manager Arthur Stankiewicz. Both current and prospective customers “can get a sense of what it’s like to have Vermont American in your store,” said Stankiewicz, who was pleased with the foot traffic. “We’ve been seeing our customers since before the door opened.”
Robert Bosch Tool Corp. was another vendor that returned to the show after a 10-year absence.
Greg Fuller, CEO of All American Home Center in Downey, Calif., was on the lookout for “high-impulse and disposable or consumable” products for his Southern California hardware store. Once gas passed $4.00 a gallon, Fuller said, consumers pulled back on their spending.
“It’s a repair and fix-it market,” Fuller explained. “So I’m looking for items at lower price points that customers can use up and then come back to get another.” Top of Fuller’s list: dog chews and treats.
National Hardware Show kicks off Tuesday in Las Vegas
The 2011 National Hardware Show opens today in Las Vegas, featuring thousands of products organized across nine categories on the massive Las Vegas Convention Center show floor.
The Show will continue to offer exciting special events, including product demonstrations, roundtables, informative addresses and panels by industry experts, including the Golden Hammer Awards breakfast event, taking place Wednesday morning.
The 2011 National Hardware Show is the first to be held in conjunction with the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) All-Industry Convention.
The categories of buyers attending this year also include BJs (warehouse); Target and HSN (mass merchants/specialty/internet catalog); Price Chopper (major grocers); CVS and Albertson’s (chains); and Arett Sales Corp., Commerce Corp. and Foster’s (lawn/garden/outdoor living distributors).
“Personally, I have been attending the National Hardware Show for 20 years and have seen retailers of all sizes, states, countries and diverse business backgrounds,” said Brendan Sullivan, director of merchandising for PRO Group, Inc. “The merchandise team at PRO Group uses the National Hardware Show as an important source for new products and manufacturers. New products and programs are extremely important to PRO Group member distributors and PRO hardware retailers.”
Kris Kahn, president of The Fulham Group, explained that his company’s new line of portable outdoor grills caters to a cross-section of lifestyle segments — from camping and tailgating to beach and backyard entertaining — and that the event enables him to reach retailers in multiple segments all under one roof.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to grow our retail partnerships and channels of distribution at the National Hardware Show,” said Kris Kahn, president of the Fulham Group, the exclusive licensee for Cuisinart outdoor grills and grilling tools. “NHS attracts a wide variety of core retailers from traditional hardware segments as well as other target markets for Fulham, such as camping and specialty cooking retailers. This breadth of retail channels is one of the main reasons we chose to exhibit again this year.”
In Las Vegas: Independents Day falls on Thursday
The National Hardware Show in partnership with the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) will devote a day to independent retailers with a series of awards, giveaways, seminars and celebrations.
The Thursday series of events have been collectively dubbed "Independents Day."
Held around the NRHA Village Stage in the main lobby of the National Hardware Show, the May 12 day-long celebration of independent home improvement retailers will get started with a panel discussion titled “Leading the Way: Local Business and its Value to the Economy.” Held in a roundtable format, this event will feature influential proponents of the shop-local movement who will discuss the importance of local businesses and the impact these businesses have on the economy.
That panel will be followed by presentations on consumer marketing initiatives and retail performance awards.