Hardware Retailing

DEC 2017

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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A few weeks ago, our daughter came home from college with her boyfriend. We had just finished dinner, and it seemed her homesickness had gotten the best of her because she asked if we could break out the family photo albums. (I'm sure her boyfriend was thrilled with this suggestion.) My wife happily obliged and dashed up the stairs to retrieve the photo-filled plastic totes. We proceeded to spend the next couple hours drinking coffee, flipping through old family photos and reminiscing about everything from past Halloween costumes to infamous family gatherings. I'm sure most of you have had these spontaneous walks down memory lane yourselves, and it's likely you might be headed for more with the holidays on the horizon. While browsing through the photos, our conversation turned to thoughts about the future, about the prospect of holidays, graduations and vacations yet to come. By the time the photos went back into their envelopes and the totes were once again shut away in the end table, we had created some new memories, and we were excited about the plans we'd made. As I worked through this year's Market Measure report, I realized that what we do in this special issue is not all that different from the evening my wife and I spent with our daughter and her boyfriend. In this issue, we take a look back at the year that has passed. We dissect what happened, and we reminisce about the good and not-so-good events that shaped the course of the industry. Hopefully, many of you do the same thing this time of year with your own businesses. Rather than just turning the page on another year and celebrating successes or bemoaning misfortunes, you will truly give some thought to what happened and how it has shaped your operation. Although looking at old photos, pondering operational data and discussing events that occurred in the past is incredibly important, the exercise doesn't offer any value unless you use these insights to plan for what's ahead. After all, the past is behind us, and aside from the sentimental thoughts that reflection can evoke, it is important that you honor the past by using the experience and insights you have gained to change your future in a positive direction. (Wow, I went a little Tony Robbins there for a minute.) As you flip through this month's Market Measure (which starts on Page 24) and look at the numbers and events that shaped the past 12 months, I also encourage you to look at the predictions we are making for the future of the industry. In the coming months, there will be growth! Some businesses will succeed and others will fail and outside events will shape the course of our economy and the way consumers shop. How you respond to these changes is up to you. This holiday season, as you gather with your own family and friends to look through old family photos, I hope you cherish that time, reflect on happy memories and resolve that the future will be filled with even more! Dan M. Tratensek, Publisher dant@nrha.org A History Lesson Taking Care of Business " Rather than just turning the page on another year and celebrating successes or bemoaning misfortunes, you will truly give some thought to what happened and how it has shaped your operation. " HARDWARE RETAILING | December 2017 10

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