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National Hardware Show®

Retailers Gain Insight Into Industry and Innovations at National Hardware Show®

Together, the National Hardware Show® and North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) All-Industry Conference have offered insight into what’s new and important in the home improvement industry.

The show and conference were held May 8-10 in Las Vegas.

“This year’s show is all about new: from our logo and branding to 500-plus new exhibitors,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “There are new experiences everywhere you turn, and new products to bring back to your stores.”

Retailers from all over the world were excited to gather in Las Vegas and see all the show had to offer, including innovative new products.

“It’s always nice to come to the show and get the chance to network and to see new products,” says Adam Busscher, owner of Picton Home Hardware Building Centre in Picton, Ontario. “We’re looking for the latest and greatest products before our competitors can find them.”

Product innovations are also important to attendee Martin Prus, owner of Abbotsford Paint & Decorating.

“I’ve been coming to the show for 12 years,” Prus says. “We’re always looking for new products and seeing how we can expand on what we have.”

NRHA All-Industry Conference

The NRHA All-Industry Conference, which is hosted annually in conjunction with the National Hardware Show, offered expert insight through a lineup of speakers and retailer panel discussions.

Speakers included keynote presentations from Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, the stars of HGTV’s “Good Bones,” Jules Pieri, CEO and co-founder of The Grommet, and Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of TreeHouse.

Young Retailer Insight

The NRHA Young Retailer Panel gave attendees a chance to hear from past Young Retailer of the Year honorees, who shared some industry insights and offered advice on managing their small businesses.

“When you put your personal touch on things, it becomes less monotonous and more than what’s simply between the four walls of the store,” says Joe Franquinha of Crest True Value and Urban Garden Center in New York. “Find things that help you separate yourself from the path.”

Perspectives From Keynote Speakers

In their keynote presentation, Laine and Starsiak Hawk talked about how their hobby of rehabbing old homes turned into a business, and then “Good Bones,” a hit HGTV show. They also discussed using their careers as platforms to promote other local businesses.

“Since we have a TV show, we get to feature so many cool companies, like artists, retailers and contractors,” Starsiak Hawk says. “It’s great to give our local businesses a national platform and give them the recognition they deserve.”

In his presentation, Ballard with TreeHouse talked about “the future of the home” and how to build healthier, more sustainable houses while limiting carbon footprints.

“We need to find a way to build homes that cooperate with human health and with our planet,” Ballard says. “If there is one thing to take away, it should be this: It is existentially important that we find a way to shelter ourselves in a way that doesn’t harm our health or the world around us.”

New Research

NRHA and shop-local organization Independent We Stand presented the results of the latest edition of the Home Sweet Home study, which included original research about the impact on local communities when consumers choose to purchase home improvement products on Amazon, rather than at local stores.

“Seven times more money stays local when a consumer shops at a local hardware store instead of making the same purchase online from Amazon,” says Dan Tratensek, executive vice president and publisher with NRHA. “From the beginning of our journey with these Home Sweet Home studies, our results have proven time and again that when consumers make their home improvement purchases through locally owned businesses, the local communities benefit.”

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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