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EVENTS

Home is Where the Housewears Are

BY Ken Clark

New York — The main course is slated for March 10-13 in Chicago. But, as part of a new publicity-rich tradition from the International Housewares Association, the appetizer took place here in Manhattan.

And this appetizer was a substantial dish — 50 companies presented their home and housewares products to the media.

The International Home + Housewares Show Preview event included a mix of well-known brands and first-time Housewares Show exhibitors, said Debbie Teschke of the International Housewares Association, hosts of the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show. The coffee industry was well represented, as were products that keep food and drinks cool while hiking to work, or to play. Pots and pans were prevalent, as were air quality products.

The emergence of housewares as a popular entree for hardware and home improvement merchants has been an industry trend for years. And based on the cross-over appeal of many of the products at the Manhattan preview, the hardware industry isn’t going to lose its taste for the category any time soon.

Global housewares spending rose to $355.4 billion, an increase of 2.4%, in 2016 – the most recent available statistics, according to IHA’s 2017 State of the Industry Report.  In the U.S. alone, housewares expenditures increased 6.0% to $87.1 billion.

In Chicago, the show is expected to attract more than 2,100 exhibitors from around the world, including 400 first-time exhibitors. Tom Garda, president of New Jersey-based Select Home Products, has attended the Housewares Show for years. “We’ll be looking for product trends and customers,” he said. “It’s always a good show to learn, and put our products on the map.”

The Show continues its emphasis on the smart home and connected products by expanding the IHA Smart Home Pavilion, offering increased education and networking opportunities. The Smart Talks stage will feature presentations, panel discussions, interviews with industry leaders and more throughout the show.

“The high demand to be a part of our world-class marketplace continues for our IHA member suppliers,” said Phil Brandl, IHA president and CEO. “We look forward to bringing the industry together at the premier global housewares industry event.”

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International stage for hardware

BY HBSDealer Staff

Increasingly, the international language of home improvement has a strong digital accent. At the upcoming International Hardware Fair Cologne, slated for March 4-7 in Germany, two of the themes to play out on the show floor will be online marketing and the optimization of all things digital.

Organizers of “Eisenwarenmesse” – the German language equivalent of “hardware fair” – recognize that much has changed in the digital realm since the last fair two years ago.  

“In order to be able to survive in the future against the Internet giants, the stationary trade will have to emphasize its strengths, i.e. the service offer and added value, more strongly than ever before,” said Enrico Laskowski, executive director of Grenzland Baugeräte Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG from Hückelhoven. “We are convinced that we will receive valuable stimuli for our business at the coming Eisenwarenmesse – International Hardware Fair Cologne."

But the communication of the dealer with his customers is only one side of the digital world. In the future, more and more processes have to be carried out on a digital basis in the dialogue with the suppliers and other partners.

According to Koelnmesse, “Intelligent networking” is the magic word of the digital age. In the automated factory, machines, components, tools as well as transport and conveying equipment are equipped with sensors and communication systems – and are therefore able to exchange and evaluate enormous amounts of data in real time to produce goods at unprecedented speed and efficiency. The flow of information and data is not limited to production: Trade, logistics, service and even customers become part of the process chain.

This development requires intelligent technology: from complex control and monitoring solutions to tools. An example: Integration-ready torque wrenches with radio modules and sensor technology.

In the course of digitalization, the Smart Home area is also gaining in importance. Studies indicate that this market will reach a volume of around 4.3 billion euros ($5.27 billion) by 2022. The intelligent networking of various house functions such as heating, air-conditioning and lighting calls for increasingly powerful, compact and convenient electronic components. How far technology has already been developed in the meantime is demonstrated, for example, by radio switches with self-learning coding, which are increasingly adapting to the individual needs of users.

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The industry celebrates City of Hope

BY HBSDealer Staff

Orlando, Fla. — It started with a virtual tour of a California cancer-treatment facility, continued with a former patient’s medical success story and concluded with the handing over of an oversized $700,000 check.

Those were some of the highlights of the Hardware/Homebuilding Industry’s Spirit of Life fundraising gala for City of Hope. The night’s special spotlight fell on Behr Process Corp. President Jeff Filley, the 2018 City of Hope Spirit of Life honoree.

The hardware/homebuilding industry during its 35 years of existence has raised about $150 million in its 35 years of partnership with the Duarte, Calif.-based disease treatment and research facility.

In his remarks, Filley described how the employees of Southern California-based Behr have been able to witness the operation of the world-famous City of Hope with their own eyes. “They do amazing work and they save lives,” he said. “Nothing is more important than that.” Among the lives saved was Filley’s own mother, who received cancer treatment at City of Hope.

“We’re very humbled to be the Spirit of Life recipient,” he said.

The ceremony also looked ahead to 2019’s Spirit of Life event, and announced the selection of Giles Bowman as 2019 honoree. Bowman is the senior VP of merchandising, building materials, for The Home Depot.

Along with an update on the medical advances, there was also a patient’s story, told by 26-year-old cancer survivor Nicole Schultz. She was diagnosed with a difficult-to-treat cancer as a freshman in high school. In an emotional speech, she thanked the industry for its fundraising and generosity. “I am standing here today because of the work being done at City of Hope,” she said. 

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