Independent retailers attending the National Hardware Show® this year will not only be able to see the exciting new products being launched across all categories: they’ll have instant access to these products through the Show’s new Buying Desk Program. On the flip side, suppliers attending the 2011 event – to be held May 10-12 in Las Vegas – will be able to sell products to independent retailers through their existing co-operative and distributor programs.
“This new program will give independent retailers the chance to show new products to co-op and distributor buyers on the spot and get these products into their stores more quickly,” said Rich Russo, event director, National Hardware Show®. “We are very excited to have this program in place for this year’s show.”
Orgill, Distribution America, Ace, True Value and Lancaster make up the list of co-ops/distributors signed up for the Buying Desk Program thus far. Together, they represent $7.7 billion in sales and more than 40,000 independent retailers nationwide.
“I think the value of this program is that it will connect the dots between the manufacturer who is presenting his products to the industry, the retailer who may have not been exposed yet to those products, and the distributor who may or may not be stocking those products,” said Dave Christmas, president of Distribution America, which distributes to 15,000 retail stores through nine distributor members. “It’ brings everyone together in one spot.”
Exhibitors participating in the Buying Desk Program will have a counter card at their booth that says, “Independent Retailer Program.” In addition, each co-op/distributor will have a meeting room on site at the Las Vegas Convention Center where they can facilitate orders, network with retail customers and discuss products they do not currently stock in their distribution centers.
According to Linda Johnson, owner of Village True Value Hardware in Western Springs, Ill., this program will save independent retailers the trouble of following up with co-op buyers after the show – a process that can take months. “I can show exciting new brands and products to our buyers right then and there,” she says. “It has a lot of efficiencies built in, as you have a captive audience for those three days.”
Mike Dube, promotional director for Lancaster, sees this as an opportunity to support both his customers attending the show, and his vendors exhibiting at the show. “A retailer can visit the Lancaster Buying Desk at any time during the show to purchase products seen on the show floor while the information is still fresh on their minds,” he said. “We are excited to be part of this innovative idea.”
Hyde Tools is one of the companies participating in the Buying Desk Program through its relationship with Lancaster. Corey Talbot, vice president of marketing and product development for Hyde, says this is a great opportunity for his company to connect with independent retailers and distributors and to facilitate buying, adding, “Hyde has participated in the show for every one of its 67 years, and it has always been productive for us. We are hopeful this will be a valuable addition where our new products can gain faster acceptance and traction.”
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