Hardware Retailing

JAN 2019

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

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Conference Highlights Opportunities for Growth Roundtable Unites Female Industry Leaders A t the NRHA State of Independents Conference, held Dec. 6 in Chicago, retailers, manufacturers and industry analysts united to explore new opportunities to expand the independent home improvement channel. Growth was the theme of the annual event, which gave a chance for retailers from all wholesaler affiliations to share successes and challenges. Retailers spoke on discussion panels and gave keynote presentations on their strategies for growing product departments and adding locations. Industry experts also offered insight into industry and economic trends. Jim Robisch from research firm The Farnsworth Group and Dan Tratensek, executive vice president of NRHA and publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine, spoke on the health of the industry in the context of the overall retail and economic environments. Tratensek also presented NRHA research on retailers' challenges and opportunities for growth and the product categories they identify as thriving and expanding. Retailer panelists shared their perspectives on the state of the industry. Joe Franquinha, owner of Crest Hardware in Brooklyn, New York; Zach Coblentz, division manager for Hartville Hardware in Hartville, Ohio; and Elliot Greenberg, owner of JC Licht in Chicago, each gave presentations on how they have grown their distinctly different businesses. A t the third annual Women's Leadership Roundtable, women in the independent home improvement industry gathered to discuss strengths and opportunities before the start of the NRHA State of Independents Conference in Chicago. The roundtable brought together female leaders from within the independent home improvement sector to share ideas and best practices and to benefit from one another's perspectives on growth and industrywide opportunities. At the event, a group of diverse women representing retail businesses from the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean gathered with women leaders from key wholesalers and manufacturers working within the industry. The roundtable provided an opportunity for dialogue between people from businesses of different sizes and specialties and with varying wholesaler affiliations, which facilitated a candid discussion of the industry. During the roundtable discussion, participants shared perspectives on topics such as recruiting new talent; training and retaining key employees; financial transparency with employees; dealing with family relationships in business; encouraging other women to take on leadership roles within their companies; and strategies for successful online marketing. Event attendees also discussed specific challenges they are facing while operating their businesses, suggested best practices and asked each other for business advice. January 2019 | HARDWARE RETAILING 15 At the NRHA State of Independents Conference, Joe Franquinha discussed his operation's growth strategies for 2019 and beyond. The Women's Leadership Roundtable gave attendees the chance to candidly discuss channel challenges and opportunities.

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