National Hardware Show finds market on upswing

2,300 exhibitors; strong major buyer activity reported.


Floor traffic was pleasingly brisk on Tuesday May 4, opening day of the 2010 National Hardware Show.Tool, home lawn and garden manufacturers filled the Las Vegas Convention Center's North and Central halls and spilled over into entrance halls, meeting rooms and outdoor areas for the 2010 National hardware Show, which concluded Thursday, May 6.

All told, some 2,300 exhibitors packed the halls. These included 900 tool manufacturers, 300 in housewares, plus 900 lawn and garden, 250 paint and 250 plumbing and electrical vendors. 

No final figures are available yet but show promoters report that overall attandance is up over last year. More importantly, exhibitors reported that buyers for major national and international retailers were out in force — and buying.

Not entirely surprising, rumors also were circulating that retail giants were flexing their muscle to ensure that their empty inventory pipelines get priority treatment as manufacturers begin ramping up production. This could spell inventory problems for smaller retailers and distributors who may face difficulties accessing inventory in the next quarter as the industry scrambles to refill its depleted stocks.

Seminar presenters included the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and the Paint & Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA).  Highlight presentations included a keynote address from former Walmart senior vice chairman Don Soderquist and show-opening ceremonies with Home Depot  co-founder Pat Farrah.

Read our full show report in the coming June/July issue of Contractor Supply Magazine, which will go live online in early June.