Hardware Retailing

OCT 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://www.hardwareretailingarchive.com/i/1030469

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Page 12 of 102

Independent Thinking I t's truly hard to believe that we are already heading into the fourth quarter of 2018. With only a few months left, we have already seen so much happen this year that it feels like we need to catch our breath. On one hand, we have seen a number of positive developments. The economy continues to gain strength; unemployment is low; and the housing market has remained steady. On the other hand, we still face some difficulties as an industry. Independent retailers are striving to develop a cohesive plan for e-commerce; the costs associated with operating a business seem to be increasing every year; and the issue of succession in our industry still poses a dire challenge. Any one of these challenges can provide a headwind to business owners trying to grow their operations, especially for the independent businesses that make up our segment of the channel. During these times of rapid change, know you are not alone. You have an association dedicated to helping you take advantage of market opportunities and solve operational challenges—the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA)! When I talk to retailers, manufacturers and distributors, and ask them what they know about NRHA, I often get an answer like, "Oh, you guys offer that online training," or "You have that management certification program," or "You publish Hardware Retailing." While it is true that we offer a host of programs and services as part of NRHA, and we have been publishing Hardware Retailing for more than 100 years, we do so much more than just create, market and sell services or programs. While in many instances NRHA may be perceived as just a vendor of programs and services, your industry association can't be defined that simply. We want to provide you with tools to help you succeed in your business, which include our training products, Retail Leadership Institute offerings, our magazine and exclusive research, like our Cost of Doing Business Study. (Read more about the study on Page 16.) Beyond these tools, however, we offer something that no other entity in this industry offers—the opportunity to bring together retailers of all wholesale affiliations, sizes and types to share ideas on common ground. We do this through the stories we tell in the magazine, the NRHA All-Industry Conference held each year in conjunction with the National Hardware Show ® , retailer roundtables, the State of Independents Conference and through our efforts to connect retailers in countless ways. That's why when you talk to retailers who have been involved with NRHA, who have attended these programs, have served on our board or have participated in roundtables, you get a much more complete picture of what NRHA offers. These retailers might mention some of the tools we offer when asked to define the association, but more often than not, they refer to NRHA based on the relationships it has helped them form with other retailers. Listen, we are all in this together. There will be good times and difficult times. There will be products and services the association creates that come and go. But one constant we can offer—and the one thing that makes NRHA so much bigger than the tools we create—is the relationships we help form, and this requires your participation in your association. We understand and embrace the concept that we are stronger together! I encourage you to do the same and get more involved in your association. Bob Cutter, President and CEO bcutter@nrha.org " We offer something that no other entity in this industry offers— the opportunity to bring together retailers of all wholesale affiliations, sizes and types to share ideas on common ground. " The Season to Get Involved HARDWARE RETAILING | October 2018 8

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