Big names and buyers boost National Hardware Show
Jamie Sorcher -- Casual Living, 5/13/2013 10:44:50 AM
LAS VEGAS - The 2013 National Hardware Show, now in its 68th year, kicked off with an opening ceremony that included music - from the Green Valley High School marching band - confetti shot from cannons and confidence from an enthusiastic crowd assembled around the North American Retail Hardware Association Village Stage.
Held May 7-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the show featured 2,500 exhibitors and buyers from all the major mass market chains and e-commerce outlets including Ace Hardware, Amazon, Lowe's, Kmart, Target, True Value and many more.
Along with the wide range of outdoor furniture, lights, rugs and accessories, there were some big names on the first day of the show including keynote speakers Kathy Daly-Jennings, head of industry, retail practice at Google.
She shared her perspective on technology habits of today's shoppers and what some retailers are doing to reach out to these more savvy consumers -getting to them on their mobile devices. According to industry research, more consumers will access the Internet from mobile devices rather than a desktop computer in 2014, she said.
Actor and activist Ed Begley Jr. took the stage to talk about environmental awareness, how that is impacting consumers and how all of us must foster earth-friendly awareness.
Also at the show was Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, who introduced his Rapid Cooker grill by EdenPURE and shared some of his thoughts in a sit-down interview with Casual Living. The grill, in development for more than a year, features a sleek design, easy-to-clean drip pan, nine adjustable heat zones and portability to go from backyard to tailgate.
Namath worked with Jon Molnar, a professional chef who is also his cousin, on the grill and on a line of steaks.
"I am excited about it," Namath said, "and best of all because it's family and I like being part of the team effort."
A show highlight for Casual Living was the opportunity to judge the Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Innovation Awards. Publisher Norman Hamilton served as emcee for the presentation, which included awards to the following:
• Gold Award to the Grillbot grill cleaner from Grillbot
• Silver Award to Garden Gems Paper Planters from Walters Seed Company
• Bronze Award to the N200 solar light bulb from Nokero
• Honorable Mention to Earth Minded for its DIY Rain Barrel Diverter and Parts Kit.
Hamilton congratulated the winners, noting that many of the contenders had developed a product because each one's wife had asked for a better beach chair or a simpler way to hang a gadget without a nail.
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