National Hardware Show – Las Vegas

Aussie Folks/jpg Members of the Bunnings buying staff attended a reception held by the Worldwide DIY Council at the National Hardware Show. Fellow Aussies, Mike and Sandra Dobbins, of Cornerstone Hardware Brokers (Australia) and Master Distributors Pty Ltd were also there (second and third from right)

Retailers and distributors from around the world, including Australia, spent three busy days in Las Vegas at the recent National Hardware Show. The second one to be held in Las Vegas, it attracted 3,100 exhibitors – the largest number in several years, as well as the largest buyer attendance in years. Several dominant themes were evident. They included ergonomic designs to make products easier and more comfortable to use; environmental awareness – particularly noticeable in paint products, insecticides and lawn products; outdoor living, with upgraded products clearly getting attention especially in grills and patio lines; faux finishes for creating individual ‘looks’ in home decorating, and tools to make home decorating tasks easier. With so many exhibits, show management worked hard to make the Las Vegas Convention Centre ‘shoppable’ by grouping products into major categories – plumbing and electrical; tools; paint & decorating; and a huge lawn & garden/outdoor living section which occupied most of the Sands Convention Centre. Buyers interested in importing merchandise primarily from Asia, could also visit the Global Marketplace in the Sands Centre. Looking for new and unusual products was made easier with a ‘New Products’ section in both the Las Vegas and Sands Convention Centres, as well as the categorization of the show. To further assist buyers and suppliers, show management hosted many educational workshops and seminars covering such topics as RFID, consumer shopping habits and how independent stores can compete with retailing giants. With no Practical World being held in Cologne this year, the National Hardware Show benefited by being the biggest fair on the world stage this year. Readers who were unable to attend the show can find information about some of the products exhibited there by going to and clicking on ‘Where Members Exhibit’.

By Bob Vereen