Hardware Retailing

FEB 2018

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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HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2018 74 M aking friends as an adult can be challenging, and it's often intimidating to be the first to break the ice at industry events. Creating lasting friendships with people who are vastly older or younger than you and live hundreds of miles away is even more unlikely. But the value that comes from connecting with other retailers in the independent home improvement industry is worth the initial hurdle. About 35,000 independent home improvement businesses are operating in the U.S. and Canada. The industry is full of people whose daily work looks a lot like yours, but there are a few differences. In some areas, retailers may compete against each other, but it's important to note that the industry as a whole is stronger when independent business owners support each other and speak up together. Throughout the industry, retailers like you have dozens of opportunities each year to meet their peers, whether at wholesaler buying markets, conferences and trade shows or working together in organizations like the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). At these events, retailers can meet people they may never encounter otherwise. To learn more about the types of friendships that arise out of independents working together and learning from each other, Hardware Retailing spoke to four retailers whose friendships started in hardware and expanded into ongoing support systems. These friendships are examples of the value that exists in developing relationships with other retailers who may have different outlooks based on their industry experience or their geography. For more about the value of developing industry relationships, visit TheRedT.com/industry-friends. Retailers Find Value in Relationships That Defy Expectations Friends for the Ages

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