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Council Meets to Share Industry Insights

The Hardware Marketing Council met earlier this month for a conference designed to connect home improvement industry leaders with each other.

The group, which meets twice per year, is made up of  sales and marketing leaders from manufacturers that make products for the home improvement market. The council’s winter meeting was held Dec. 1-3 at a resort in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The goal of the event was to share best marketing practices and learn from industry experts.

Industry leaders, such as representatives from Ace Wholesale Holdings, Central Network Retail Group (CNRG) and the North American Retail Hardware Association, offered insights into the independent home improvement channel.

For example, Hoyoung Pak, president of Ace Wholesale Holdings, gave a presentation on the fundamental skills needed to win at wholesale. CNRG president Boyden Moore talked about how suppliers can participate in the rapid growth of his company’s multiformat, multibrand stores.

Bill Lee, president and CEO of NRHA, spoke about the strengths and the future of small family hardware operations, and how NRHA is working to support the growth of young talent in the market.

Dan Tratensek, vice president of publishing for NRHA, spoke on a panel with young hardware executives, discussing topics such as the growth of young executives in the independent channel, selling quality products made in the U.S. and vendor relationships. The young retail panelists were David Cripe, co-owner and general manager of Whitmore Ace Hardware in Wilmington, Illinois; Josiah Gates, vice president of retail innovation at Aubuchon Hardware, which operates stores in New England and New York; and Christian Herrick, vice president of retail operations for Randy’s Do it Best Hardware in Virginia.

Other event speakers included Mark Herbek, senior vice president and partner of Cleveland Research, who talked about the economy and how it relates to the pro market. Ged King and Matt King, partners in Sales Factory + Woodbine, discussed line reviews at the big boxes.

The Hardware Marketing Council was organized in 1971 by representatives from leading manufacturers who were fulfilling the product requirements of home improvement retailers.

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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