News Stories

AHMA Chicago Hardware Show Fails to Fire
Attendance at the AHMA Hardware Show held in late April, was disappointing with less than 15,000 industry representatives visiting the show. The show held in Chicago’s McCormick Place, attracted approximately 600 exhibitors and occupied only part of one of three trade halls.

The MK Diamond stand at the AHMA Hardware Show in Chicago

By comparison, the National Hardware Show held in Las Vegas between May 10 – 12 lined up more than 2,100 exhibitors and occupied 463,880 square feet of space at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

The battle is now on to see which show will win out as the one supported by the industry, both in the US and internationally. The American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) has filed a lawsuit against Reed Exhibitions (the promoters of the National Hardware Show) claiming breach of contract, fraud and civil conspiracy.

According to our American correspondent, Bob Vereen, who attended the Chicago Show, the feeling amongst many American companies is to have one big American show in odd-numbered years only, with the Cologne Show in even-numbered years.

Hardware Imports Boom In China
While China is well recognised as a major manufacturer and exporter of hardware, imports into the country have boomed over the past 18 months.

China’s hardware import volume in 2003 amounted toUS$8.8 billion, up a massive 72.3% compared with 2002. The increase is due to China’s strong economic growth and surging construction boom.

The biggest category of imports was tools (US$2.6 billion), followed by plumbing supplies, building materials and locks. The biggest exporters to China are Japan, Europe, the United States and Korea. China’s hardware import volume is expected to remain high due to the nation’s enormous infrastructure and housing construction boom. The nation is now the sixth largest and fastest growing world economy committed to a massive program of infrastructure development – railways, roads, shipping berths, new airports, power and water projects. In 2003, China accounted for more than half of the world’s cement consumption and over a quarter of the world’s demand for steel.

According to the Practical World Asia April newsletter, 2004 – 2006 will be golden years for international companies and brands hoping to explore the Chinese market. Meanwhile, thanks to a decade of steady development, China remains the largest hardware manufacturer in the world. Hardware export has been increasing steadily with export volume reaching US$16.27 billion in 2003, up 14.9%.

Mitre 10 Provides a Sneak Preview of MEGA
At a recent breakfast function, Mitre 10 gave more than 300 of its suppliers a sneak preview of the first MEGA store in Australia.

L – R Frank Whitford, Ian Tyson, Shane Lipton, Barry Fagg (all Mitre 10,) and guest speaker, Olympian James Tomkins

A live cross to the construction site in Chelsea Heights (Vic) during the breakfast gave guests a chance to see the site in development. Due to open in June, the store is the first of four that Mitre 10 plan to roll out across Australia by the end of 2004.

Addressing the audience, managing director, Frank Whitford, spoke about the development of the Mitre 10 group and how it is well-positioned for the future, with MEGA being an important component of this.