dealers are adapting to the economic situation by offering their customers a greater product variety and marketing it in more creative ways
House-Hasson October dealer market sees
nearly 30 percent increase in dealer attendance
(KNOXVILLE, TN) — House-Hasson Hardware’s October 8-9 dealer market in the resort town of Sevierville, Tenn. was notable for a nearly 30 percent increase in dealer attendance over 2009 as well as dealer response to new products, says Don Hasson, company president.
“Our October market is typically much smaller than our spring and summer events, but even so our attendance of 450 dealers was 100 more than last year,” Hasson said. “Early sales figures show major interest in new product lines.
“That’s not to suggest that the economy is making dramatic improvement,” he added. “Rather, it’s that dealers are adapting to the economic situation by offering their customers a greater product variety and marketing it in more creative ways.”
Allen Winn, House-Hasson merchandising vice president, said dealers attending the market at the Sevierville Convention Center zeroed in on fresh product offerings.
“Particularly in the do-it-yourself arena, dealers came to the market looking for new items that respond to customers’ desires to fix up their existing homes because they’re staying put,” Winn said.
There is a clear distinction in business activity between hardware stores and lumber yards, Hasson said.
“Hardware stores are doing fine, for the most part,” he said. “Lumber yards are having a tough go because of fewer housing starts and the number of jobs lost in the construction and building trades. Some yards have lost up to 50 percent of their business in the last three years.
“Dealers came to our market and saw where they can develop niches and that those niches can keep the doors open,” Hasson said. “Some of the more important ones are lawn & garden. We have Frigidaireappliances, and many dealers are adding them to their inventories.
“We sell lots of dog food. Who’d have ever thought we’d be selling dog food? But it gives dealers another wrinkle, another way to get customers into their stores and yards.”
Winn listed some of the products at the market – some new, some traditional – on which dealers focused significant interest:
• GE Silicone Caulk sales were up more than 200 percent
• Power tool accessories sales increased some 110 percent
• Century Drill: a first-time House-Hasson market power tool accessory vendor offering drill bits, circular saw bits and other accessories that hook on to a power tool
• Greatneck Tools: offering a brand new line of tool kits (“Dealers went crazy over them,” Winn said)
• Ames/True Temper introduced its True American line of long-handled tools; all made in the U.S.
• Irwin Tools’ power tool accessories
• Duraflame indoor and outdoor power heaters
• First Alert wireless and wire activated systems for home and business (also used market to introduce safes and wall safes)
House-Hasson’s next dealer market is scheduled for Feb. 10 – 12 at the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tenn.
In its 104th year of operation, House-Hasson Hardware serves 17 states, the Caribbean basin, and several other foreign countries. The company is approaching $200 million in annual sales.