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The Hardware Marketing Council was held May 26-28 at The Washington Duke Inn in Durham, North Carolina.

Hardware Industry Leaders Gather in North Carolina

The 44th spring meeting of the Hardware Marketing Council (HMC) was held May 26-28 at The Washington Duke Inn in Durham, North Carolina. The council is made up of the top 125 sales and marketing leaders that manufacture products from the home improvement market, according to Tom Taylor, HMC’s managing director.

The annual meeting is designed to share best marketing practices, gain a better understanding of key customers’ strategies and learn from industry experts about emerging technologies.

Speakers at the meeting included John Hartmann, CEO of True Value Company; John Keeley, vice president of Lumberman’s Merchandising Company (LMC); Mark Herbek, CFA, senior vice president of Cleveland Research Company; Bill Lee, president and CEO of the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA); Mark Veeder, vice president of online merchandising at the Home Depot; and Dr. Randall Parker, professor of economics at East Carolina University.

Hartmann shared the success and future strategic plan of True Value Company. He discussed how True Value members and sales will grow during the next few years and how suppliers can participate in this growth.

Keeley described the operations and organization of LMC and its members, including the long history of growth at LMC and the plans they have for future growth. Keeley also showed how suppliers can participate with LMC’s programs.

Herbek shared in detail the past performance on the industry and channels of distribution as well as the trends that will influence customers in the future and how manufacturers can participate. He went on to define industry trends and predictions of the changes that will affect the industry in the next five years.

Lee spoke about the vision of the NRHA going forward. He discussed the future leadership training for new hardware executives and explained the challenges for the next generation of hardware store leaders and how manufacturers can be a part of this development process.

Veeder explained the strategies of The Home Depot’s online merchandising, the history and success of online sales and historical and future growth of online sales. He discussed the very specific needs the Home Depot has of manufactures.

Dr. Parker provided insight into the current and future status of the U.S. economy and the drivers that will influence business in the next five years. He went on to discuss the home improvement market, its challenges and future expectations.

Rob Scoble, president of Hyde Tools, found the spring meeting to be very insightful.

“It is one of the very few forums where we have the opportunity to have the senior executives of our major customers share recent results and trends, the opportunities and challenges of the current market place and how they plan to excel,” Scoble says. “This meeting was no exception.”

To learn more about the Hardware Marketing Council or the upcoming fall meeting of the council or for more information on becoming part of the top 125 sales and marketing leaders on the HMC, contact Tom Taylor at hmctc@aol.com or visit the website.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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