The National Hardware Show® Celebrates New Innovations and a Thriving Industry

Industry leaders, manufacturers and retailers spent last week scouring for new products, attending educational seminars and connecting with peers at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

The Show began Wednesday and ended Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event featured thousands of exhibitors and attracted more than 20,000 attendees.

Show areas that highlighted new products, such as Inventors Spotlight and the Featured Product Gallery, attracted crowds of people looking for new items to sell and wanting to stay abreast of up-and-coming industry trends.

The Show partnered with the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), the association presenting its All-Industry Conference on the Show floor. The conference offered seminars on topics such as the state of the economy and how to compete with Walmart.

Many companies and retailers were honored at the Show, presented with awards recognizing innovation, business acumen and retailing vision. The awards included the Industry’s Top Gun Awards, which NRHA presented to recognize the work of four of the industry’s best independent home improvement retailers.

The Show offered fun, too – attendees enjoyed food fresh off the grills in the Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ area. There were even celebrity sightings as well, with Bob Vila greeting crowds at the Viatek booth and signing autographs.

Orgill’s Enhanced Operations Offer Canadian Retailers New Opportunities

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By adding a Canadian company into its operations, Orgill is broadening its available product assortment, increasing buying power, improving sales support and offering more competitive pricing to Canadian customers.

Customers are already noticing a difference. Ken Meier, hardware purchaser for Warman Home Centre in Warman, Saskatchewan, is seeing better fill rates, competitive pricing and a simpler way to do business.

“Before, I was purchasing products both from Orgill and another Canadian supplier,” Meier says. “Now, I’ve been able to switch all of my purchasing to Orgill. They can fill anything I carry.”

Orgill had already opened up new opportunities to Warman Home Centre over the past several years, and the service is only getting better.

“We keep finding those products that are new and different from anything else we carry,” Meier says. “Orgill’s Dealer Markets have been crucial for us to see what’s new, what’s coming and how that can look in our store.

“We love looking at the model store sets to get ideas,” he says. “As a retailer, you should never stop changing. If you do, you’ll die. Orgill helps us keep changing.”

Orgill’s expanded presence in Canada has come as a result of its acquisition of the assets of Chalifour Canada, a former distribution arm of TIM-BR MART Group.

As part of transitioning Chalifour into Orgill’s fold, Orgill established Orgill Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Orgill, Inc.

The purchase was finalized Oct. 1, 2015, and launched a companywide effort to shift Chalifour into Orgill’s existing operations as part of the new Orgill Canada.

Teams of Orgill employees have worked as quickly as possible to make the transition happen seamlessly, without disrupting service to any Canadian customers.

With the acquisition, Orgill instantly got a London, Ontario, distribution center and brought on board more than 250 new employees, hundreds of new vendors and over 1,000 new customers across Canada.

Read more HERE

Download the new Metaltech App!


GET THE NEW METALTECH APP ON YOUR
IPHONE OR IPAD TODAY

We are excited to announce the first Metaltech App!

Install this new tool on your iPhone or iPad to calculate the scaffolding frames, braces, platforms, wall attachments, levelling jacks, and guardrails needed to cover any size wall. Just enter your wall size, frame size, brace length and number of platforms per deck. The Metaltech App calculates your list of material (BOM).

  • You will be able to share the results to any contacts as well as, with just a click of a button, request a quote from Metaltech’s customer service.
  • In the pull down menu, you will find links to our Metaltech website, brochures, catalog pages and YouTube videos.

Note: An Android and a Metaltech website based version of the calculator will soon be available, regular updates and new features are also going to be made from time to time.

DOWNLOAD THE APP

Orgill Spring Market Sets Record Attendance, Sales

With home improvement retailers from all 50 states, all 10 Canadian provinces, and 61 countries in attendance, Orgill’s recent Spring Dealer Market shattered previous attendance records.

The market occupied more than 1 million sq. ft. of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and included vendors from across the spectrum of home improvement and niche categories, as well as three complete model stores for visitors to browse.

“Sales and attendance were at record levels, the physical layout was nothing short of visually stunning, and dealer attitudes were positive,” said Ron Beal, Orgill’s chairman, CEO and president.

Retailer attendance was up 10% over last spring’s market in Orlando, which itself was a record high. This year also set records for the largest number of vendor booths featured, the highest number of prospective customers in attendance, and the largest number of retailers pre-register for the next market (Aug. 25-27 in Las Vegas).

The three model store sets where retailers could see the complete array of products and services Orgill can offer, displayed in real-world store settings. These stores included examples of the latest merchandise assortments, digital merchandising aids and illustrations of how retailers can maximize their store layouts and merchandising to generate greater productivity.

The Retail Right Lawn & Garden section, which showcased how the program thoughtfully integrates national, regional and private-label brands into its assortments allowing retailers to differentiate their lawn and garden offerings while maximizing their margin potential.

Orgill also saw heavy traffic in its new Paint Works area of the Market, where it highlighted the complete range of paint and sundry products available to retailers, as well as store layout and signage options designed to help retailers drive traffic and create a destination in the popular category.

The Orgill Canada area featured vendor booths and promotions available for Orgill Canada customers. A complete range of Canadian-compliant product was also available throughout all departments on the show floor.

Orgill hopes to build on the success of its Spring Dealer Market in August, when it will be hosting its Fall Dealer Market in Las Vegas from August 25-27. For more information about attending the event, please go to the events page on www.orgill.com.

Based in Memphis, Tn., Orgill is the world’s largest independently owned hardlines distributor providing retailers across the U.S. and in more than 60 countries throughout the world access to over 75,000 products and industry-leading retail services, from its six distribution centers and three export consolidation facilities.

House-Hasson Hardware Co.’s growth connects new and old ways

Ed Marcum, Knoxville News Sentinel
Jan. 31, 2016

The Internet has replaced the train and the horse for connecting with customers, but a lot of things about the hardware business are not that different from when Knoxville’s House-Hasson Hardware Co. formed more than a century ago.

People still need nuts, bolts, nails and tools, although the ways of getting these things to them are a lot different now, said Don Hasson, House-Hasson president.

Now, the independent hardware stores served by House-Hasson can make use of a website customized to their stores that displays the more than 50,000 items House-Hasson keeps in stock at its Forks of the River warehouse/headquarters, he said.

“So, Sloan’s Hardware, down in Madisonville, can look like a really big deal on their website,” he said. “You can go click 50,000 items on their website and buy them, and our program is a ship-to-the-store program. So, a customer buys a Skilsaw, and goes down to Sloan’s store and picks it up, which keeps the store in the loop.”

House-Hasson Hardware is marking its 110th year. The company formed in 1906 when C.S. Hasson, Sam House and 12 other employees of Knoxville-based hardware company C.M. McClung left that company to start their own.

They developed the business by sending out salespeople to establish territories. The “railroad men” went by rail and worked the towns along the way. The “bush men” would arrive somewhere by train, rent a horse and explore trails in search of remote communities served by a general store.

Since those days, House-Hasson has grown to become the fifth-largest wholesale hardware distributor in the country. In December, the Hardware and Building Supply Dealer online industry magazine named Hasson one of its People of the Year in the home-improvement industry.

The article noted that House-Hasson had done a major acquisition that allowed it to make a significant expansion. In 2015, House-Hasson acquired the Alabama-based Long-Lewis Hardware Co. distributorship, adding 500 dealers, 10 salespeople and their territories, and boosting annual sales by $30 million.

This is actually the fifth such major acquisition the company has made since he joined it in 1973, Hasson said. These included Paris Dunlap Hardware, in Gainesville, Ga., in 1988; Alabama-based Sheffield Hardware in 1997; West Virginia-based Persinger Supply Co. in 2007; and Alabama-based Moore-Handley Inc. in 2007.

The Persinger Supply acquisition gave House-Hasson a facility in Huntington, W.Va., and Moore-Handley was actually a larger company than House-Hasson. Currently, House-Hasson has about 500 employees between its Knoxville and West Virginia locations, and serves a network of about 3,000 hardware dealers and lumberyards in Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Florida and the Caribbean islands.

“When I started in 1973, we were at $15 million, and this year we will go over $200 million,” Hasson said. “So, those acquisitions have been right helpful along the way.”

The Long-Lewis acquisition will allow House-Hasson to get into new markets in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle, he said.

As House-Hasson has picked up stores and territories in new areas, it has developed some diverse customers. Each year, the company holds a dealers’ conference in which it gathers as many dealers as possible to check out new merchandise and to mingle. In the past few years, there have been more and more dealers from Amish communities.

“If you had been to our dealers’ market in Nashville, you would have seen a lot of black shirts and black pants and flat hats, because they have become a significant part of our customer base — maybe 15 to 20 percent,” Hasson said. “They make quite an appearance at one of these markets.”

The bulk of House-Hasson clients are independent hardware stores in rural areas, and its salespeople have encountered more Amish communities as they have moved into Pennsylvania and Ohio, Hasson said. His company has had to be flexible, he said. The Amish have different attitudes about what kinds of tools are suitable. Some won’t use power tools, but others do.

“They are different from town to town, and it depends on the patriarch of their group,” Hasson said. “We have some who use computers and communicate to us with computers. We have some who don’t even allow electricity in their stores. We have some who will drive a car and some who won’t drive a car. We have some who drive horse-drawn buggies.”

Getting Amish customers to attend the dealers’ convention in Nashville was a bit of a challenge. Some of the Amish dealers would not drive a vehicle, but did not object to going as passengers, so House-Hasson chartered a bus to take them from Pennsylvania to Nashville.

Dealers from the Caribbean make up nearly 20 percent of House-Hasson customers, Hasson said. The dealers’ market in Nashville saw a good representation of people from Belize, St. Johns, Nassau and other Caribbean locales.

“We had a real good bunch of folks who had never seen snow before,” Hasson said. “One of them even got out there and made a butterfly.”

House-Hasson moved into the Caribbean market about 18 years ago. Three salespeople cover the territory by air, working out of Florida.

The Caribbean is an interesting market because it has no “big box” stores, which are usually the arch competitors to House-Hasson’s dealers, Hasson said.

“You don’t see Home Depot and Lowe’s out in the Caribbean. They’re just not there,” Hasson said. “So the hardware stores can be ‘the guy.'”

One of the largest House-Hasson accounts there is Al Thompson’s Home Depot, on Grand Cayman.

The 130,000 square-foot store is a giant in its locale, Hasson said.

“And he was named Home Depot before there was a Home Depot so he just kept the name. He has done very well,” Hasson said.

Much of House-Hasson’s success has been because of its efforts in helping its independent hardware store clients compete against big-box retailers, Hasson said. Custom websites linked to the House-Hasson website, custom marketing programs, help with social media efforts and other types of assistance have been crucial, he said.

But, even with so much being done to help stores make use of the Internet to compete, sometimes it’s still necessary to do things the old-fashioned way. Maybe not with trains and horses, but close.

“We still make a paper catalog for about 20 Amish customers,” Hasson said.

http://www.knoxnews.com/business/house-hasson-hardware-cos-growth-connects-new-and-old-ways-2a2ea0b5-75b6-0190-e053-0100007fb252-367015101.html

Jerky Sales Are Jumping on Hot Demand for Protein Snacks

The market for meat snacks is hot, with more consumers choosing jerky and proteins over chips and carbs, said Troy Link, CEO of Link Snacks.

“We have been on-trend with all the low-carb, low-fat diets,” said Link. “We are definitely a better-for-you snack. We are very fulfilling and when you eat a bag of beef jerky you are full.”

Link Snacks is the largest manufacturer of meat snacks worldwide with sales over $1 billion. The company currently operates 11 manufacturing and distribution facilities in four countries and has sales in more than 40 countries. Link Snacks’ portfolio of brands includes Jack Link’s, Matador, Squatch, World Kitchens, Bifi and Pepperami.

Troy joined the family business in 1988 while still in high school to work with Link Snacks’ founder, his father and namesake to the company’s leading brand, Jack Link. Troy was named vice president of sales and marketing in 1996 before being named president in 2003 and then CEO in 2013.

Link said the majority of the company’s sales are domestic, but jerky is starting to translate to international markets like South America and Asia, as the company cultivates the brand overseas.

“We’ve got a lot of teaching to do,” said Link, about his foreign opportunities. “Eating dried meat in some of those companies is a different dynamic so we have to use our marketing to teach them the benefits of eating better-for-you protein snacks.”

Orgill Inc. moving world headquarters to Collierville

Collierville landed its fourth headquarters company Thursday when hardware wholesaler Orgill Inc. announced it would relocate from Germantown.

Orgill will employ about 380 workers in a 100,000-square-foot building scheduled to go up by 2018 on Houston Levee south of Winchester.

Orgill, one of the oldest and largest private businesses in Tennessee, would join Helena Chemical, JuicePLUS and MCR Safety in locating its head office in the Memphis suburb, which also is home to FedEx Corp.’s 2,400-employee tech center.

The move follows Collierville efforts to shed its status as a bedroom community tied to Memphis and develop into an upscale residential, office and retail center with a population of 87,000 by 2040, up from about 50,000 currently.

“They looked out down the road to where development is going to be occurring in five, 10, 15 years, to where the new office developments will be happening and they saw it would happen in this area,” said Collierville economic development director John Duncan.

Orgill’s office currently is at 3742 Tyndale near Forest Hill-Irene and Winchester in Germantown, a short distance west of the new location. While the company “enjoyed calling Germantown home for the last 13 years,” Orgill chairman Ron Beal said, an expiring lease and a need for more space “to accommodate the rapid growth we’ve experienced” prompted the decision.

Beal added the company considered sites closer to its Retails Concepts Center in Olive Branch, but Orgill officials eventually decided to remain in Shelby County.
Company officials will spend $15 million on the new building and expect to begin construction in 2016 and complete the project in late 2017.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s office announced the project Thursday, saying it would create 115 new jobs. Orgill currently employs about 265 at the Germantown headquarters.

Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner expressed excitement about the new corporate resident.

“Every day, Collierville is making strides of becoming a place where world class businesses bring their dreams and build their businesses,” Joyner said in a statement released by state officials. “Orgill brings a level of national prestige and recognition that the Collierville community will welcome and embrace.”

Orgill, founded in 1847 in Memphis, employs about 2,000 worldwide and reports annual sales surpass $1.7 billion. The company supplies retailers with more than 75,000 items such as power tools, hardware, lumber, paint, building materials and electrical products. It also distributes housewares, home furnishings, camping gear, and garden products.

Last year, the company deployed a computerized real estate system to aid retailers in selecting locations. This year the company announced plans to expand its warehouse at Sikeston, Missouri, to more 1 million square feet. Orgill’s six distribution centers in Georgia, Missouri, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Ontario supply retailers in North America and export to customers in more than 60 countries.

House-Hasson Acquires Long-Lewis

House-Hasson Hardware has acquired an Alabama hardware distributorship that will add about 500 dealers to the House-Hasson network and add about 20 more jobs to the company’s Knoxville facility.

Those extra warehouse and trucking jobs will be needed to support the additional sales territories the company is picking up in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida from its purchase of Long-Lewis Hardware Co., Don Hasson, House-Hasson president, said Thursday.

“The big benefit we are getting from this is we are adding 10 salesmen with 10 existing territories, and those territories add up to about 500 new customers and about $30 million in annual sales,” Hasson said.

Based in Forks of the River Industrial Park in East Knox County, House-Hasson is an independent regional hardware distributor serving dealers in 17 states and the Caribbean. Its purchase of Long-Lewis was concluded Wednesday, with financial terms not disclosed.

Founded in 1887 in Birmingham, Ala., Long-Lewis is a company with two divisions — a Ford dealership that is one of the oldest and largest in Alabama, and a hardware distributorship. House-Hasson is only buying the hardware division of the business, Hasson said.

Long-Lewis decided the Ford dealership, not hardware, was its core business, he said.

The Long-Lewis acquisition will allow House-Hasson, which has been adding sales territories in the Northeast, to expand south to the southernmost part of Alabama and into the panhandle of Florida.

“This is getting us into some new geography,” Hasson said.

Long-Lewis distribution will be shifted to Knoxville from Birmingham, adding about 18,000 inventory items to the Forks of the River warehouse. Generally, two distribution workers are needed to support one salesperson, hence the 20 Knoxville jobs needed to support 10 Long-Lewis salespeople, Hasson said.

The addition of Long-Lewis is expected to boost total House-Hasson annual revenues to more than $200 million and add 500 dealers to its existing 2,000-dealer network, Hasson said.,

House-Hasson’s strategy is to pursue growth through acquisitions such as Long-Lewis. The largest acquisition so far was Pelham, Ala.-based Moore-Handley, Inc., which in 2009 added a sales staff of 25 people plus their territories to House-Hasson.

“This (Long-Lewis) is second only to Moore-Handley in the big acquisitions we have done,” Hasson said.

The Moore-Handley acquisition allowed the company to expand a Prichard, W. Va., warehouse operation that helped drive growth into Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, he said.