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Workshop Series

Please Note: All seminars will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in conjunction with the National Hardware Show®, just minutes from the NRHA Village Stage and the show floor!

Retail Technology Track – Room N202

Moving to a Winning Mobile Strategy
Tuesday, May 1, 9-9:50 a.m

Mobile technology has been the “next big thing” for a while. But how can you utilize it and how can it benefit you? Today’s consumers are smarter, better connected and have access to enormous amounts of information. They know the details about the product they want and how much it costs before they walk through your door. Learn how mobile technology is changing customer behavior and how you can use it to connect with customers, improve productivity and drive more dollars to the bottom line. In addition, learn how enterprise mobile applications can improve your productivity and efficiency, and how integrated channels allow you to reach more customers at a lower cost of sale.

Presented by Steve Bieszczat,
Senior Vice President of Marketing for Epicor.

Contact: 608.846.3411; email: skirkland@epicor.com

Why Loyalty Marketing?
Tuesday, May 1, 10-10:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 1-1:50 p.m.

Have you been thinking about launching a loyalty program, but don’t know how? This seminar will provide you with what you need to know, including how it works, what tools are required, what drives success, how much will it cost, and most importantly, how it will grow your business. In this session you will discover what makes a great loyalty program successful. You will also get ideas from retailers in other categories. In addition, this session will cover:

  • Why 70% of retailers have a loyalty program
  • The requirements to be successful at loyalty marketing
  • How retailers combine loyalty programs with other marketing efforts
  • How loyalty programs capture customer data
  • How to find new customers with a loyalty program
  • How social media can be integrated with loyalty marketing

Presented by Spencer Hapoienu,
President and Co-Founder of Insight Out of Chaos,

a New York City database marketing company, specializing in Loyalty Marketing.
Contact: 212-935-0044; email: spencer@iooc.com

Increasing Sales with In Store Digital Signage
Tuesday, May 1, 11-11:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 2-2:50 p.m.

Over the past few years, there have been great advancements in the use of in-store digital signs at independent retail hardware stores. In this session, you’ll learn about the latest applications for this technology, and how it is being used to drive sales and profitability and create excitement at retail. Digital signs and POP displays, when implemented using reliable and affordable, purpose-built, solid-state sign controllers, have been proven to move the needle on sales and differentiate products as varied as furnace filters, paint and potting soil. If you have been thinking about implementing this technology in your store, attend this session to learn how digital signage stores can result in a proven sales lift and surprisingly fast return on investment.

Presented by Jeff Hastings,
CEO of BrightSign LLC.


Capitalizing on the PlanItDIY Movement
Tuesday, May 1, 1-1:50 p.m.& Wed. May 2, 9-9:50 a.m.

Have you heard of NRHA’s new national consumer awareness campaign designed to promote the benefits of shopping at locally owned independent home improvement retailers? It’s called PlanItDIY. This session will give you all the details of what this initiative entails and how you take advantage of it in your store and in your local community. Find out how you can make the most of this exciting new initiative, and how you can develop a customized website or web content that rivals the big boxes using all the project videos and how-to content from PlanItDIY.com.

Presented by Scott Wright,
NRHA Vice President of Member Services.

Contact: 317-275-9417; email: swright@nrha.org

Public Relations in the Age of Social Media
Wed. May 2, 10-10:50 a.m.

With the advent of social media, the world of public relations has taken on an exciting new dynamic for independent home improvement retailers. In this session you’ll learn how to use social media and traditional grassroots PR techniques to effectively promote your business to potential customers in your local market. This session will explore the new PR possibilities social media provides and help you borrow the best tactics being used today, including:

  • Media magnets for home improvement retailers
  • Contests for PR and traffic building
  • Capitalizing on holidays and weather
  • How Facebook & Twitter can help you promote your business
  • Why you should use You Tube
  • Common mistakes when pitching journalists

Presented by Ruth Furman,
founder of Image Words,

a Las Vegas-based PR firm with a history of working with independent home improvement retailers.
Contact: 702.255.8288; email: ruth@ruthfurman.com

Technology Tools to Help You Compete
Wed. May 2, 11-11:50 a.m.

Big-box retailers are not your only competitors, just your scariest. In this session, presented by Epicor Software, you’ll discover how you can use some of the same advanced applications as the big guys to compete and win. This session will help you make good forecasting, analysis and modeling decisions that are critical to retail success. Learn what inventory you should carry and how much.

What price is competitive but meets your margin needs? How can you identify customer and sales trends? Your big competitors use powerful analytic tools to answer those questions and so can you. Find out how and start using these tools to improve cash flow, increase transaction size and improve overall margins.

Presented by Steve Bieszczat,
Senior Vice President of Marketing for Epicor.

Contact: 608.846.3411; email: skirkland@epicor.com


Retail Operations Track – Room N204

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Succession Planning (3-Part Series)
Succession planning is one of the most critical steps in the transition of the business to the next generation of ownership. But it’s a complex and emotional process that needs to have all parties communicating effectively. In this featured three-part series, you’ll learn the basics of succession planning, including:

Session #1: Selling Inside the Family
(Tuesday, May 1, 9-9:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 9-9:50 a.m.)

About 30% to 40% of family held businesses are sold or transferred to children, in-laws, or someone inside the family. In this session you’ll learn about the different strategies on how to move the business to someone inside the family and try to minimize income taxes in the process. This session will also cover the types of documents needed to protect stock in the family business and ways to treat all of the children fairly.

Session #2: Selling Outside the Family
(Tuesday, May 1, 11-11:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 10-10:50 a.m.)

Between 15% and 20% of family businesses are sold to key employees or another co-op member. This session will cover the different strategies that business owners need to be aware of when they are selling their company to someone outside the family. It will also address business valuation techniques, reducing income taxes, the types of documents that are needed for this type of transaction and different ideas for a smooth transition.

Session #3: Valuing Your Family Business
(Tuesday, May 1, 2-2:50 p.m. & Wed. May 2, 11-11:50 a.m.)

There are several ways to value a family business, and within a valuation report a business can have at least five different value levels. This session will help navigate you through valuation techniques and ideas that you need to be thinking about now if you plan to have a valuation prepared in the next three to five years.

Presented by Gary Pittsford,
President and CEO of Castle Wealth Advisors,

a firm specializing in succession planning and financial services to independent home improvement retailers.
Contact: 317-849-9559; email: Gary@castle3.com

Making More Money through Variable Pricing
Tuesday, May 1, 10-10:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 1-1:50 p.m.

The concept of margin management is not new. The challenge of margin management lies in understanding the relationship between your current price and what the consumer will pay. Big Box retailers are masters of this. In this session, presented by Retailer Soft, makers of Margin Master software, you’ll learn how to harness the power of your personal computer to help you bolster your bottom line. You’ll also learn to:

  • Maximize your profitability on every item sold without slowing down or losing the sale.
  • Maintain the “right” price image for your market.
  • Set rules for rounding off prices in ways that maximize your profitability on every item sold without losing sales.
  • Review numerous "what-if" scenarios without committing to actually making the changes until you want them made.
  • Set and save retail price strategies for a variety of different product breakdowns.
  • See at a glance where the gross profit dollars in your company are coming from.

Presented by Brad Green,
President of Retailer Soft and Owner
of three Ace Hardware Stores in Michigan.
Contact: 989-896-8718; email: apellerito@retailersoft.com

Loss Prevention Retail Security Tools
Tuesday, May 1, 1-1:50 p.m. & Wed. May 2, 2-2:50 p.m.

Each year independent home improvement retailers lose millions of dollars to both internal and external theft. This session will help you better understand how today’s retail security technology can help you identify and stop retail shrinkage in your store. If you already have or are thinking about getting a CCTV system, EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) pedestals, tool alarms, counterfeit detectors, money counting/verification equipment as well as any other security components, this is the seminar for you. It will address works and what does not, what to look for, where to get it, what you can expect to pay and how you can enhance what you already have without spending much money.

Presented by Jim Close & Joe Szvetitz,
co-founders of Risk Management Services Inc.,

a firm specializing in Loss Prevention Solutions for independent home improvement retailers.
Contact: 866-396-2351; email: joe@rmslp.com


Retail Training Track – Room N206

Understanding the New Fertilizer Regulations
Tuesday, May 1, 9-9:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 10-10:50 a.m.

Lawn and garden is a growing category for many independent retailers, but keeping up with all of the new and proposed regulations is getting more difficult … and frustrating. This session will provide an understanding of why lawn fertilizer laws are being updated and how the new standards are designed to help protect water quality. Over 14 states have revised their fertilizer laws in recent years to establish standards for phosphorus and/or nitrogen content and labeling. While they may seem confusing, consistency across states is enabling retailers to effectively and efficiently comply with the new standards. In this session you will learn about the new regulations that are impacting the fertilizer category and what you need to know to address customer concerns and sell the category more effectively.

Presented by Chris Wible,
Director of Environmental Stewardship
at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.,
Also Presented by Martin Pratt,
Director of Channel Sales and Marketing Support
at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.

Setting Up an Award Winning Training Program
Tuesday, May 1, 10-10:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 1-1:50 p.m.

If you’ve ever wondered how to set up, maintain and monitor the effectiveness of an employee training program, this retailer panel discussion will provide answers. Former Young Retailer of the Year Patrick Gilbert from Neepawa Home Hardware in Canada and former Retail Innovator of the Year Peter Walsh from Walsh’s Ace Hardware in Wisconsin will share their secrets and training strategies in this informative and practical panel discussion.

Understanding and Implementing Project-Based Selling
Tuesday, May 1, 11-11:50 a.m. & Wed. May 2, 11-11:50 a.m.

To increase sales and leverage your customers service advantage over the big boxes, independent home improvement retailers must find ways to drive more project-related sales through their stores. To do this, your employees must learn the ins and outs of these projects as well as the products, tools and materials that are required. In this seminar you’ll learn how to sell popular home improvement projects, and you’ll also get a preview of a new training program from NRHA designed to get your employees up to speed in project-based sales.

Presented by Allison DeWitt,
NRHA Member Services Manager.

Contact: 317-275-9414; email: adewitt@nrha.org

Understanding Proposed Changes in the Lighting Category
Tuesday, May 1, 2-2:50 p.m. & Wed. May 2, 9-9:50 a.m.

This presentation will provide information to home improvement retailers on the proposed changes that could take place in the lighting category, as well as energy efficient lighting choices and the switch in labeling from watts to lumens. Get up to speed on what your customers will be asking so you can train your employees to provide information on alternative lighting choices, why these changes are happening and the benefits of these changes.

Presented by Monique O’Grady,
VP Communications for the Alliance to Save Energy.


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