Seen and heard at the Ace show
Dallas — There was plenty of talk of overarching strategy and disruptive competition at the Ace Hardware Convention and Exhibits in Dallas from March 15 to 17. There was also a lot of tire kicking, aisle surfing and product demonstrating on the exhibit floor.
While Ace executives kicked off the market with a detailed overview of strategies to succeed in the new retail environment, the show floor educated and entertained. The co-op’s Famous For 4 categories — paint, grills and outdoor power equipment, home preservation and Christmas lights and gifts — received extra emphasis on the show floor.
Educational sessions ran continually and focused on topics from “What’s New with AceHardware.com” to “Tools to Help You Coach Your Team More Effectively.”
A new convention wrinkle took the form of Experience Zones, areas of concentrated product knowledge in the middle of the show floor’s main aisle. These zones focused on cleaning products, tools, paint, electrical & plumbing and lawn and garden.
Dealers in attendance were encouraged to bring their expertise to the forefront. “That’s what entrepreneurism is all about,” said executive VP John Surane, during the co-op’s general session. “Think about what you’re famous for, build on that, and be famous in the communities you serve.”
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