At its upcoming “Get Ready for Spring” September Buying Market, United Hardware will be showcasing a host of new retail services, a record number of first-time vendors and a variety of promotional buying opportunities for its member-dealers.
The event will take place September 27-29 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota. Highlights will include introduction of a new rental program, new dealer website, expanded category offerings and opportunities to network.
“We are getting positive vendor support ahead of this market, with a record number of new exhibitors and overall vendor registration surpassing pre-COVID numbers,” says recently appointed president and CEO Chad Ruth. “This market will be a great opportunity for members to find new products and ideas, as well as some new retail programs we’re excited to unveil.”
With more than 45 new vendors at the market, key brand names will include Libman, Linzer, Greenworks, Great Northern Equipment and Weathertech. Many of these vendors will be in the lawn and garden and outdoor living categories, helping retailers plan their purchases for the coming year.
As they make their way across the market floor, attendees will have opportunities for discount purchases, including pre-market happy hour specials and extended dating through August 2024 for some lawn and garden vendors. Retailers can enter to win one of several prizes, including a trip for two to the next United Hardware Dealer trip. The location of the 2025 dealer trip will be announced at the market.
“We’ve been able to secure some significant discounts and pricing terms for our members,” says Josh Hanson, director of merchandising. “With increased pressure on prices, it’s more important than ever for retailers to stay competitive and maintain good margins. Our pre-season specials will be the best prices retailers will find all year long.”
New Programs & Features
One of the highlights of the upcoming market will be a new rental program with Great Northern Equipment. Through this partnership, United Hardware will offer customizable rental programs to fit any size business and type of customer base.
On Wednesday, Sept. 27, before the market floor opens, attendees can participate in a variety of educational seminars. In partnership with the Friedman Group, United Hardware will continue its Emerging Leaders program, designed to help new owners and managers prepare for the challenges they face in the retail business. In another seminar, Dan Tratensek, chief operating officer and publisher at the North American Hardware and Paint Association will offer an update on the home improvement industry, outlining its biggest challenges and opportunities. Other seminars will give retailers a deeper look into some of United Hardware’s key retail services and marketing best practices.
New to the market this year is a Wednesday evening kickoff event where members will hear directly from the United Hardware leadership team as they outline the highlights of the market.
“This is the first time we’ve had a pre-market event like this,” says Lisa Makowski, vice president of marketing and customer experience. “We’re offering a chance to hear directly from our leadership team about all of the market highlights and give retailers the information they need to understand everything the market has to offer.”
United Hardware will also unveil its much anticipated new dealer website packed with enhancements. Dealers will experience improvements throughout the site including an upgraded My Account dashboard, significant search enhancements, site-wide Customer View, optimized Retail Price Maintenance, promotional ordering, new must-see categories, optimized planogram ordering and much more.
Thursday, Sept. 28, after a full day on the market floor, retailers can attend an evening of fun and networking featuring country music star Chris Cagle. Starting with his album debut “Play it Loud” in 2000, Cagle wrote several country music hits during his career.
“We’re excited to bring Chris Cagle and his country music to Minnesota as a way of saying thank you to our members and vendor partners,” Ruth says. “Throughout the market, we hope to create an atmosphere which builds and strengthens connections between our members, their families, vendors and United Hardware employees.”
On Friday morning, Sept. 29, at the shareholders breakfast, retailers will hear from United Hardware board members and executive leadership on the state of the business and what the company has planned for the future.
United Hardware Distributing Co., home of the Hardware Hank brand, is a full-line wholesale hardware distributor providing distinctive brands, services and capabilities to help independent dealers build successful businesses and vibrant communities. Headquartered in Maple Grove, Minnesota, United Hardware services dealers from its distribution center in Milbank, South Dakota and delivers an extensive product line to over 700 stores in the Midwest.