Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: AHMA’s Monopoly

In 1997, the American Hardware Manufacturers Association rolled the dice with a playful ad.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The May 5, 1997 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, included a two-page spread promoting what was then known as International Hardware Week. To illustrate the new easy-to-navigate lakefront complex of McCormick Place in Chicago, the organizers of the International Hardware Week designed a Monopoly board with plenty of old hardware show references.

Squares were labeled: “Keynote Address,” “Opening Reception,” and “Retail Concepts Center,” among many others. Instead of the B&O Railroad, the board featured “The El,” referring (of course) to the famous elevated trains of the Chicago Loop.

The modified playing board was accompanied by the headline: “Just follow the simple directions.”

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association described the 1997 International Hardware Week in Chicago – combining the National Hardware Show and the National Building Product Exposition & Conference – as “the biggest in history.”

While the AHMA lost control of the National Hardware Show in 2005 (the AHMA dissolved  in early 2018) the National Hardware Show lives on under the management of Reed Exhibitions. This year’s show is set for May 7-9 in Las Vegas.


HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at SchafferAssociates.com

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Throwback Thursday: The Red River flood

In 1997, Dealers in North Dakota dealt with a 500-year flood.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Aug. 4, 1997 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, covered the great flood of 1997 in Grand Forks, N.D.

Over a picture that brings to mind the current watery devastation in North Carolina, the headline reads: “Spring flood takes toll on Grand Forks dealers.” And the article explained that a blizzard, an ice storm and a 500-year-flood conspired to raise the waters of the Red River to damaging levels. The flood destroyed 5,000 area businesses and left many homes uninhabitable, according to the article.

Can today’s storm-rattled business owners learn from those who survived the great flood of 1997. Maybe they can.

Rick Simonson shows the height of the flood.

Rick Simonson was manager of hard-hit Simonson Lumber and Hardware. His message at the time was one of patience and perseverance. “When I walked in [the store], I could have gotten down and lost hope, and none of us would have tried. So you just grab a broom and a power washer and keep going. You’ve got to stay calm. You’re the leader.”

Bob Peabody, president of Lumber Mart, recommended to be aware that stress — an inevitable feature of flood devastation – can creep into decision making. “As you become subjected to more stress, you think you function, but you don’t.” He added: “If it were just Lumber Mart’s problems, it would be simple. I’ve got employee concerns, too.”

Peabody also stressed the importance of understanding what’s in your insurance policy.

Also quoted in the article was North Dakota’s crisis counseling coordinator: “Be patient, but get back to normal as fast as possible. You don’t want to give the impression that you’ve been through a trauma, and you don’t have to be responsible. It doesn’t mean something won’t be expected of you for the rest of your life.”


HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at SchafferAssociates.com

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Throwback Thursday: rebuilding Ground Zero

When disaster struck on 9-11, a Manhattan store flexed its muscles.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Oct. 8, 2001 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, covered the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center from the perspective of a 38-year-old hardware store owner in Manhattan.

Andrew  Scheman, president of Scheman and Grant, witnessed the devastation on Sept. 11, 2001, and then oversaw the transformation of his hardware store into a much-needed supply house for relief workers at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

Scheman arrived at work early on Sept. 11, and was alerted to the disaster by a phone call from his wife.

“I lived in New York my entire life,” Scheman told our reporter in 2001. “I’ve seen the biggest things that happened here – the blackouts, blizzards. That image of watching the tower cascading down will be in. my mind the rest of my life.”

The article reported: “Scheman immediately closed his shop and told his 15 employees to go home; those who had nowhere to go due to the almost total shutdown of New York’s mass transit system were allowed to stay inside the store.”

Andrew Scheman

After closing on the day following the attacks under recommendation of the mayor, Scheman and Grant picked up the pace on the following days. The store is located near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which became a major collection area for Ground Zero rescue supplies.

Our reporter wrote: “The store went through 100 respirators, the equivalent of two years’ worth of sales for the 6,500 sq. ft. store. Combining donations and sales, the store also went through 10,000 dust masks, 1,000 pair of gloves, 100 tarps and several hundred flashlights and Maglites . . .. ‘It was a convoy that was basically shopping here and going to Javits to drop it off,’ Scheman said.”

Today, Scheman and Grant continues to serve New York City from three paint-focused locations in Manhattan.


HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at SchafferAssociates.com

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