2018 NRHA State of Independents Conference

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Hyatt Regency O'Hare

9300 West Bryn Mawr Avenue

Rosemont, IL 60018

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The 2018 NRHA State of Independents Conference is all about growth.

The independent channel is finding success in a number of ways. This one-day, research-driven event will take a closer look at how retailers are identifying products, categories, niches and store acquisitions and expansions as methods for growth.

New this year:

  • Get face-to-face feedback and insights from some of the industry’s most successful independent retailers as they share their strategies for growth and discuss how manufacturers and wholesalers can help them achieve their goals.
  • Discover how urban retailer, Joe Franquinha, owner of Crest Hardware is building a successful lawn and garden department in his Brooklyn, New York operation.
  • Learn from Zach Coblentz, division manager with Hartville Hardware about how the nation’s largest hardware store (at 300,000+ square feet), is planning to grow in the coming year.
  • Hear from Elliot Greenberg, the owner of JC Licht, one of the midwest’s most successful paint and decorating retailers, about how his operation is charting a growth course.

Join NRHA, economy and industry experts, independent retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers for a full day of networking, panel discussions and research seminars.

2018 Agenda

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Registration & Continental Breakfast

Sponsored by Arrow Fastener

9:00 a.m.


Dan Tratensek, NRHA and Rich Russo, National Hardware Show®

9:15 – 10:00 a.m

State of the Industry Report

This overview will provide attendees with original research and market analysis to explain how the overall economy is impacting independent home improvement retailers. We will also discuss current trends and economic indicators to help forecast what to expect from the home improvement marketplace in the near-term future.

10:00 – 10:45 a.m

Retailer Panel Discussion

Retailers Report on Performance and Growth Forecasts

This retailer discussion panel will share their real-world insights into the economic conditions in their areas and discuss how the economy as a whole is impacting their business and what other channel partners can do to earn their business.

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.

Networking Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Growing A Business with Lawn and Garden

Retail Speaker: Joseph Franquinha, Owner, Crest Hardware

You might not think that the heart of urban New York might be the best home for a budding lawn and garden business. Hear how Joseph Franquinha and the team at Crest Hardware are cultivating the opportunities in lawn and garden.

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Spirit of Independents Awards

This award, presented by NRHA and Independent We Stand, honors a home improvement retail operation that goes above and beyond for promoting the shop local movement within their community.

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by Arrow Fastener

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Branching Out at Hartville Hardware

Retail Speaker: Zach Coblentz, division manager, Hartville Hardware

Learn how the nation’s largest home improvement store, which measures more than 300,000 square feet, is planning for growth.

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

The Chicago Way with JC Licht

Retail Speaker: Elliot Greenberg, owner, JC Licht

Hear how one of the midwest’s most successful paint and decorating retail operations is looking at new categories and locations to drive its growth in the highly competitive Chicago market space.

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

Networking Break

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

Hot Growth Categories for Independents

This session will delve into the top five categories independent home improvement retailers are identifying as growth areas for 2019. We will reveal new NRHA research showing the specific categories and product areas retailers will be targeting for expansion.

Retailer Discussion Panel #2

Where We Are Growing and How You Can Help

This retailer panel discussion will focus specifically on the top category growth areas and retailers will share their own growth plans for these areas.

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

NRHA Channel Partner Awards Presentation

These awards are presented to the top three manufacturing partners as selected by independent retailers.

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

Sponsored by Arrow Fastener

Hotel Accommodations

To book your hotel stay, please click here
or call 847-696-1234.
Group name: North American Retail Hardware Association
Room rate: $129/night
Please book your stay by November 14 to receive the best room rate. Availability is first come, first serve.

Sponsored by the National Hardware Show®

Date and Time


Hyatt Regency O'Hare

9300 West Bryn Mawr Avenue

Rosemont, IL 60018

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