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How the International Hardware Fair Connects a Global Industry

Finding new ways to grow your business is critical. From scouting local opportunities to taking a global glimpse of the home improvement industry, there are many avenues for you to find new products and boost sales.

At the 2020 EISENWARENMESSE International Hardware Fair, held March 1-4, 2020 in Cologne, Germany, thousands of retailers, manufacturers and industry observers will gather to highlight the innovative products and illuminating research that can help independents excel.

A Focus on DIY

This year’s event focuses on storage, logistics and e-commerce solutions. But one of the main product categories highlighted at the biannual International Hardware Fair is its DIY selection.

This year, the DIY Boulevard will expand by 20 percent, allowing more room to highlight new vendors and retailers to explore emerging product trends for their DIY customer base. The number of DIY vendors will increase by 25 percent, including more vendors from the European Federation of DIY Manufacturers.

Important Imports

To make the trip to the International Hardware Fair as simple as possible for North American retailers, this year the Fair is teaming up with global transport and logistics company DSV.

Together, the organizations are consolidating shipments to deliver products quickly and efficiently across the world. Event organizers say shipments of any size can be transported to any spot in North America, helping independent retailers discover products and share them with their communities more easily than ever before.

Worth the Trip

International Hardware Fair event organizers say more than 47,000 visitors are expected to arrive this year. Among them will be hardware retailers from the U.S., Germany and about 140 other countries.

TJ Comstock, owner of Northwest Hardware and Megan Menzer, owner of Newton’s True Value, both attended the event in 2018. Both are owners of home improvement stores and say attending the event was a superb investment.

“At the International Hardware Fair, everything is so much larger,” Menzer says. “So many of the booths are interactive, so it’s a completely different experience than at U.S. markets.”

For Comstock, the breadth of vendors showcasing their products was the main draw. “Being able to see products that haven’t made it to the U.S. yet was great,” he says. “Attending the Fair gave me different merchandising ideas. Seeing how other people approach home improvement was really important.”

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