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Independent Retail Center

NHS Independent Retail Center Caters to Independent Channel

New to the National Hardware Show (NHS) for 2024, the Independent Retail Center was a must-stop spot on the NHS show floor. Featuring Retailer Roundtables and Ask the Expert sessions, the Independent Retailer Center sent attendees on their way with helpful and insightful takeaways. 

“Independent retailers are really important to us at NHS, and we felt like the Independent Retail Center was a great home for them to come and talk about things that work for them, things that don’t work for them,” says Joelle Cohn, VIP attendee manager for NHS.

“NHS is extremely proud of its partnership with NHPA and its immense knowledge of the industry with the value add for the show, including the Independent Retail Center full of educational seminars, and of course the NHPA Awards for the products, which are a highlight of the show,” says Kathryn Emery, PR correspondent for NHS.

Looking at creative ways to meet and exceed sales goals, Joe Franquinha, owner at Crest True Value Hardware and Urban Garden Center in New York shared his operation’s aggressive growth strategies and ways to improve customer counts and conversion rates. 

A hot topic no matter what stage your business is in, succession planning was the theme of another Retailer Roundtable, where Gina Schaefer, founder and former CEO at A Few Cool Hardware Stores provided insights into the different options to consider for a succession plan and broke down the motivation behind the unique path she chose for her company’s succession plan.

Prior to NHS, attendees had the option to sign up for individual Ask the Expert sessions to receive 1-on-1 guidance for industry experts. 

John Wheeler, valuation specialist, wealth manager and partner at Creative Planning, Castle Valuation, offered advice on how to improve your business’s value and create an exit strategy for yourself. Ajay Amin, principal at Bolster Hardware, discussed growth goals and the steps to take for expansion. 

Brian Misenheimer, vice president of franchise lending at Live Oak Bank, helped attendees identify the right opportunities and explore the financing options available to them. Dave Gowan, chief financial officer at NHPA, dove into the NHPARetail Marketplace, a platform for retailers to buy or sell an operation and post job listings.

Christian Herrick, CEO and co-owner of Randy’s Hardware, says he appreciated having the space to meet with other independents and NHPA staff.

“Overall, it was a tremendous space and looking back on the meetings I had there, they were absolutely the highlight of my trip to Vegas,” Herrick says.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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