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united hardware's january market

Discounts Run Deep at United Hardware’s January Market

Retailers attending the United Hardware January 2019 Buying Market started off the new year in a big way with aggressive buying opportunities and programs from their wholesaler to help build transaction size in their stores.

One highlight of the market, held Jan. 11-13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, was a select number of vendors offering a 75 percent discount on assortments. That level of savings on core brand items was one way United Hardware is helping retailers invest in their stores, says president and CEO Steve Draeger.

“Our markets are opportunities for retailers to work on their businesses and stay relevant to their marketplaces,” says Draeger. “Sometimes staying relevant means doing a full reset of the store, sometimes it means small changes that make a big difference.”

Thane Ashenhurst, owner of Drube Supply in Wheatland, Wyoming, was at the market looking for the next new product or vendor that would make a difference for his business.

“I tend to be on the bullish side when it comes to thinking about growth,” he says. “Small businesses like ours have some great opportunities to succeed, despite the presence of online retailers. We just purchased a second store and this year we’re going to be focused on being a great merchant for our customers.”

At United Hardware’s January market, retailers were able to see a range of new products and new vendors, along with merchandising ideas to drive sales. The impulse area of the market, introduced at United Hardware’s July Buying Market, was once again a popular area on the show floor. That area, set up to mimic a cash register station, offered retailers suggestions not only on how to set up displays to encourage impulse purchases, but also on what items were seasonally appropriate for the six months following the market.

Also front and center at the market was United Hardware’s newly revamped Backyard Chef grilling program.

“Grills represent one of our biggest growth areas right now. The new program shows some of our reworked assortments and gives ideas for selling accessories and add-on items,” says Draeger.

Retailers looking for a way to help customers finance a large purchase, such as a new grill, could take advantage of a new partnership with Synchrony Financial. Through the program, retailers can offer a financing option to make those big purchases.

Douglas Murra, from Murra Hardware in Buffalo Center, Iowa, was one of those retailers who was looking at the new Backyard Chef program as he thought about ways to expand his own category.

“Grills sell very well at our store,” he says. “Now I’m looking at putting in more accessories, and maybe getting into some of the different types of grills.”

The new grill area offered retailers fresh signage, new fixtures and ideas for merchandising accessories and pallet bridge displays for charcoal and pellets.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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