Broad range of buy-side companies plan to attend National Hardware Show
Powell Slaughter -- Casual Living, April 2, 2012
While the National Hardware Show is well known for the range of exhibitors from across multiple categories who attend the event, many of the industry's top buy-side companies also will be heading to Las Vegas in May.
From the home improvement industry's leading big boxes and independent retail powerhouses to distributors and specialty suppliers, thousands of attendees representing billions of dollars in annual sales will be on hand for the 2012 National Hardware Show, set for May 1-3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
"I don't think I have missed a National Hardware Show for as long as I have been in this industry," said Boyden Moore, president of Central Network Retail Group, which currently operates some 35 home centers and hardware stores throughout the United States.
"On one hand it is a great place to get the best and look at the complete range of products that are available out there," Moore said. "But just as, if not more important to me, is the ability to go to the show and share ideas and make contacts with people from throughout the industry. Now, with the NRHA (North American Retail Hardware Association) holding its conference concurrently with the show there are even more opportunities for me to learn and network while I am there."
In addition to CNRG, other bellwether home improvement retailers who are scheduled to attend the event include companies such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Marvin's Building Materials and Home Centers, Sears/K-Mart, Sherwin Williams, Westlake Hardware and more.
The home improvement industry's distribution community will also be well represented at the event with buyers from Ace Hardware, Distribution America, Do it Best, Orgill, PRO Group, True Value, United Hardware, Home Hardware, Wallace Hardware and more signed up to attend.
"The National Hardware Show is the gathering place for our industry, and PRO Group takes advantage of every aspect of the show," said Shari Kalbach, PRO Group's managing director. "It gives our team, including the PRO merchandise managers, an opportunity to meet with our distributor members and manufacturer partners and also see new products. We benefit from finding new vendors at the show and reconnecting with current PRO Key Suppliers. We're (also) able to take what we learn at the seminars and directly apply it to our programs. Last year, we took away valuable lessons about what retailers are doing in advertising and social media, for example. This year, we are excited to see that the programming for and about independent retailers has been expanded."
Along with representatives from the ranks of traditional home improvement retailers and distributors, the National Hardware Show has also become a gathering place for a broader range of buy-side companies, according to Sonya Ruff Jarvis, the National Hardware Show's vice president of attendee programs.
"One of the things we are excited about is that, over the years, the appeal of the National Hardware Show has broadened and, in addition to buyers from the home improvement space who attend the event, we now have more and more buyers from across the retail, distribution and online spectrum who feel the show is a must-attend event for their buying teams," Jarvis said.
This list of buyers from around the world of retailing includes heavyweights such as Amazon, Costco, Fred's, Meijer, Target and Walmart but also spans the world of specialty product providers like Big Lots, Organize.com, Pep Boys, Home Shopping Network, TJMaxx, Home Goods, Marshalls, Ross Stores, Shop Rite, SkyMall and Tuesday Morning to name a few.
"SkyMall regularly sends a team to the Hardware Show and has had great success in finding unique, innovative items for the SkyMall catalog and website (at the show)," said Barbara Downey, SkyMall Inc.'s director of merchandising. "We're a great place to launch new products and provide potential exposure to over 1.8 million passengers per day."
For online retailers like Organize.com, the ability to find new and unique products is also one of the main draws to attending the show, according to Deborah Shearer, VP of marketing and merchandising for SkyMall.
"The National Hardware Show gives us the opportunity to see vendors that we don't see at other trade shows," Shearer said. "It's the show where our team shops for seasonal, outdoor and hardware categories. The National Hardware Show does an excellent job of pre-show preparation for buyers. And, they listen to suggestions on how to improve their efforts for the next year."
For more information on the National Hardware Show and to register, visit www.nationalhardwareshow.com.