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International Hardware Fair Opens in Cologne

Languages from around the world could be heard throughout the convention center in Cologne, Germany, as the International Hardware Fair opened the doors on its 39th annual show this morning.

More than 80 percent of exhibitors will come from outside of Germany including Italy, Great Britain, France, China, India and the U.S.

In fact, Hardware Retailing editors spoke to several American manufacturers who were adjusting to the time change this morning as they prepared to present their brands and new products alongside more than 2,700 other exhibitors from around the world.

“As Werner starts expanding business into the UK, this is a particularly important show for us,” says Neal R. Martin, senior VP of Development at the company. “We have several new initiatives and brand-new lines that we’ll present here. Just look at the sheer breadth of exhibitors here—you just don’t see this in the U.S.”

international hardware fair

Trends Abound

A preliminary scan of the show floor, which spans five convention halls, gave a preview of several key trends that will be on display throughout the duration of the show, including optimizing workflow, making tools that are easier to operate, ergonomic innovation, brushless motors and economic efficiency on products such as grinding disks with the goal of extending the life cycles of the products.

From a retail perspective, exhibitors were particularly focused on supply chain efficiencies and the delivery of small-volume and last-minute orders, likely due to the high growth in online business.

Extensive Lineup of Fringe Events

In addition to new products and trends, the International Hardware Fair set up several ancillary events including Speakers Corners, where attendees can interact in an open forum with exhibitors; a special Buyers’ Day to be held tomorrow; and a host of award programs including best products and the coveted EISEN Innovation Award.

Not at the show or at the show and want to make sure you don’t miss anything? Be sure to visit www.hardwareretailing.com at the end of each day where editors will be blogging live from the event.

About Jaime Koch

Jaime Koch was the managing editor of Hardware Retailing Magazine. Jaime regularly traveled around the country and internationally to visit with retailers and share their stories. Jaime was honored by the American Society of Business Publishers for Editorial Excellence.

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