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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March 2017 | HARDWARE RETAILING 81 It Could Be You! The National Hardware Show ® will be giving away $100,000 to one retail operation to invest in the future of their business through the Reimagine Retail program. To enter, visit nationalhardwareshow.com/ reimagine-retail and explain how $100,000 could help you improve your business in one of four key business improvement areas: store design; technology; employee improvement, including training, retention or recruitment; or products and expanded categories. Entries will be accepted until Friday, March 24, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Finalists will be notified by Friday, April 28, and will be flown to the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, May 9-11. The grand prize winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 10, on the NRHA Village Stage at the National Hardware Show. business owners, and oftentimes, the one thing keeping them from dreaming about how to take their operations to the next level and actually being able to do it is access to capital. That's where we can help." According to Russo, the Reimagine Retail program isn't just about helping one business succeed. Instead, the National Hardware Show team is hoping that the program will help highlight the ideas and dreams of independent home improvement retailers everywhere. "We want to hear from independent retailers about their ideas," Russo says. "We want to award $100,000 to one of these retailers to help them realize their dreams, but we also want to share the stories of all these innovative retailers and the ways they would improve their operations and reimagine what independent home improvement retailing could look like." Helping Retailers Reimagine The idea for the Reimagine Retail program was born out of the National Hardware Show's interactions with the thousands of independent home improvement retailers who come to the show every year. "We have gotten to know so many of these independent retailers, and we get to see firsthand how they are already innovating their operations and exploring design concepts, retail technologies and product categories that really push the envelope," says Russo. "We want to be able to showcase this innovation, and the Reimagine Retail program will help us do that, while at the same time providing us a way to give back to the industry." Entering the Reimagine Retail program is simple. Retailers can go to nationalhardwareshow.com/reimagine-retail and submit a 500-word description highlighting exactly how they would improve their business if they were given $100,000. The National Hardware Show will be looking for projects that focus on four key business improvement areas: • Store Design • Technology • Employee Improvement (training, retention or recruitment) • Products and Expanded Categories Together with the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and a panel of retail professionals, the National Hardware Show team will review the entries and determine which project is most worthy of winning $100,000. The finalists will be flown to the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, and the winner will be announced during the show on Wednesday, May 10, during a special presentation that will take place on the NRHA Village Stage in the main concourse of the Las Vegas Convention Center. "We want to look at all the submissions and share some of the most creative ideas with the industry, so even retailers who don't enter or don't win will still be able to benefit from the program," Russo adds. The National Hardware Show making this kind of investment in helping independent home improvement retailers succeed says a lot about the show's dedication to the channel, says Bob Cutter, NRHA chief operating officer. "Independent retailers account for more than half the sales of products flowing through the home improvement channel," says Cutter. "The National Hardware Show recognizes how important these retailers are to the overall health and future of this industry. Not only have they worked to make the National Hardware Show more focused on meeting independents' needs, but now, through the Reimagine Retail program, they are really making an investment in the success of these hardworking family businesses." For Russo, the launch of the Reimagine Retail program is just the beginning of what he hopes will be a long-term commitment to helping independent retailers in this channel. "This is just the first year of the program, but we see this as something that will continue, and hopefully we can help multiple small businesses succeed through it—not just by awarding the prizes but also by sharing some of the innovative ideas that the program should help bring to light," Russo says. "After all, the National Hardware Show has always been about driving innovation in the channel." In fact, the National Hardware Show has been a fixture in the hardware and home improvement industry for more than 70 years. This year's event will take place May 9-11 in Las Vegas. For more information about the National Hardware Show, visit nationalhardwareshow.com.