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A Q&A with The National Hardware Show[R].

Rich Russo, vice president of The National Hardware Show[R], spoke with Hardware Retailing magazine to discuss why sponsorship of events like the State of Independents Conference are so important to the industry.

Why did the National Hardware Show (NHS) decide to sponsor NRHA's 2015 State of Independents Conference (SOIC)?

The National Hardware Show is the largest gathering of independent hardware retailers in the United States. We understand and recognize the importance that the independent hardware retailers play in the industry. We support NRHA's mission to help these retailers become more profitable through their education and training programs, financial management resources and human resources tools. It was important for us to show the industry that we support every distribution channel and that the National Hardware Show is truly designed to help support independent retailers, too.

The conference brought together representatives from retail, distribution and manufacturing, a lot like NHS does. Why is this so important to the success of the industry?

We are all constantly learning and evolving within our own businesses. Any time you can get different channels of the supply chain together, we all benefit. The learning that took place, such as the unique education, networking and retailers talking about what makes their stores profitable, the risks they had to take to get there and the failures they endured, were great educational opportunities for all of us.

In addition to sponsoring events like SOIC, what are some of the other ways NHS is dedicated to helping independent retailers within this industry?

This year, we are creating many programs specifically targeting the experience for the independent retailer. We are educating our exhibitors on how to work directly with independents. Our sales team, along with our customer success group, will be engaging our exhibitors on ways to promote themselves and products directly to the independent retailer.

We will also be highlighting all those exhibitors who are ready, willing and able to sell to independents in a special on-site mini-guide handed out to these retailers. In addition to that, we will be asking our exhibitors to come up with their best show special pricing and programs to offer, ensuring that any independent retailers' time spent out of their stores and at the show will be well worth their while.

Do you see that exhibitors at NHS are becoming more focused on the independent segment of the market?

Yes. Manufacturers in general are continuing to target the independent retailers as opportunities to grow their businesses. They are becoming more savvy when they participate at the show to specifically market to this group, and we are supplying them with tools to do so. Gone are the days of all your eggs being held in one basket. The best way to ensure success is to diversify. To learn more about NHS, visit www.nationalhardwareshow.com or call 203-840-5622.

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Publication:Hardware Retailing
Article Type:Interview
Date:Feb 1, 2016
Words:474
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