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2013.No.1 of IHA Global Report



In This Issue:

·         Attend the 2013 IHA International Congress


·         New IHA Associate Members


·         Manfred Maus Receives the Global DIY Lifetime Award

·         Italy Welcomes a New Hardware Fair

·         News from the UK


·         News from Sweden


·         News from the United States


·         How Members Should Handle Email Complaints


·         Newspaper Predicts Changes in Retailing

Upcoming Events

Totally DIY/Totally Tools
10-12 February, 2013
Ricoh Arena
Coventry, United Kingdom
requst more information

Feicon Batimat
12-16 March, 2013
Anhembi Exhibit Hall
Sao Paulo, Brazil

13-17 March, 2013
World Trade Center
Metro Manila
Manila, Phillipines
requst more information

Construmat China
18-21 April, 2013
Beijing, China
requst more information

TurkeyBuild Instanbul
24-28 April, 2013
Istanbul, Turkey
requst more information

213 IHA International Conference
6-9 May, 2012
Las Vegas, United States
request more information

National Hardware Show®
7-9 May, 2013
Las Vegas
Convention Center
Las Vegas, United States
requst more information

Construmat Spain
21-24 May, 2013
Barcelona, Spain
requst more information

Batimat Expovivienda
4-8 June, 2013
Buenos Aires, Argentina
request more information

Ferexpo 2013
18-19 September, 2013
Bergamo, Italy
Call +39 035 3230911

IHA Members

Hardware Federation
of Australia
Ian Cornwell, President
contact by e-mail
Rod Evins, IHA Treasurer
and Representative to IHA
contact by e-mail

China National Hardware Association
Zhang Dongli, President
Jin Lixin, Secretary General
Shi Senglan, Vice Chairman
+86 10 84379122
contact by e-mail

Finnish Hardware Association
Kari Kulmala, Director
+358 9 4315 6480
contact by e-mail

Confédération Française de la Quincaillerie
Jean-Francois Dubost, President
Marie-Christine Delarbre,
Secretary General
contact by email
+04 78 77 06 55
Nicolas Berthet, Treasurer
+33 1 45 61 99 44
contact by e-mail

Zentralverband Hartwarenhandel e.V.
Thomas Dammann, Director
Dr. Paul Kellerwessel, President
+49 211 470 50 11
contact by e-mail

Great Britain
British Independent
Retailers Association (bira)
Caroline Gordon,
bira National President
Alan K. Hawkins,
Chief Executive Officer
Richard Rowlatt, BHF Chairman
Sarah Wood, CHA Chairman
Chris Patterson, IHA Chairman
+44 121 446 6688
contact by e-mail

Maurisimo Ferrario, Managing Director
+390 2 76008 807
contact by e-mail

Japan DIY Industry Association
Naoya Otsu, Secretary General
+81 3 3256 4475
contact by e-mail

E. L. W. M. Zwager, President
070 349 07 49
contact by e-mail

Pakistan Hardware
Merchants Association
Sh Ahmad Dawood, Chariman
Usman Ghani, Secretary General
+92 42 7631182
contact by e-mail

Enrique Gil, President
+34 952 22 88 44 Phone
+34 952 22 88 92 Fax
contact by e-mail

Gremi de Comerciants de Ferreteria de Catalunya
Hardware Guild of Catalonia/Barcelona
President: Mr. Juan Alarcon
Assistant: Ms. Julia Gutierrez
contact by email

Sveriges Bygg-och Jarnhandlareforbund
Ulf S Gustavsson, Director
Goran Sundstrom, IHA Managing Committee Member
+46 8 762 76 50
contact by e-mail

Verband des Schweizerschen Eisenwaren-und Haushaltartikelhandles (VSE)
Hanspeter Sahli, President
Christoph Rotermund, Secretary General
+41 44 878 70 50
contact by e-mail

USA & Canada
North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA)
Bill Lee, President & CEO
IHA Secretary General
+1 317 290 0338
contact by e-mail
Richard Thomas, IHA President
and NRHA Representative to IHA
contact by e-mail











Don’t Wait!
Plan Now to Attend the 2013 IHA International Congress

May 6-9, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

REGISTER TODAY AT www.ihaworldwide.com

As your host association, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) extends you the warmest invitation to join our independent retailer members in Las Vegas May 6-9, 2013 and to participate with us in the NRHA All-Industry Conference.

This year’s 2013 IHA International Congress will be absolutely packed with events designed to help you grow your business, socialize with industry colleagues and have fun! And, all of them will be part of your IHA Congress package.

The congress will be held concurrently with the National Hardware Show, one of world’s largest home improvement products trade fairs. The show extends a warm welcome to IHA Congress attendees with many special amenities to make your visit easy and pleasant.

All IHA Congress attendees have the opportunity to participate in a multi-dimensional program. Each day will be packed with events for you to choose from.

Your IHA Congress Package Includes:

1.   IHA Congress Luncheon and Business Meeting

2.   Global Home Improvement Conference

3.   NRHA All-Industry Conference

4.   National Hardware Show

5.   Networking and Social Events, including:


o    International Young Retailer of the Year Awards

o    IHA-NRHA Independent Retailer Reception

o    Global Home Improvement Conference Reception

o    IHA Las Vegas Night: Cirque du Soleil KA

Go to
 www.ihaworldwide.com and follow the links to registration. Your registration to the Congress automatically registers you for the National Hardware Show.

For the best rates for your hotel stay go towww.nationalhardwareshow.com
 and use their recommended hotels.

As an IHA Congress attendee you are invited to participate in all of the NRHA All-Industry Conference programs. While at the show, your home will be the NRHA Village. It will be the place to meet, get information and relax while at the show. To learn more go to

Part of the IHA International Congress, the Global Home Improvement Conference is sponsored by IHA, EDRA, Worldwide DIY Council, Hardlines and the National Hardware Show, this conference brings together outstanding international speakers to bring you up-to-date on the state of home improvement around the world. Speakers include:

  • Erwin van Osta, 
    President of BricoAlliance and CEO of HUBO
  • Marco Olandelli, 
    President of Organizziaione Orlandelli
  • Ibrahim Ibrahim, 
    Managing Director, Portland Design

The conference also includes the Global Home Improvement Networking reception.

The National Hardware Show wants you to feel welcome at the show. As an IHA Congress attendee you will be a Channel Leaders Club member with special VIP Visitor status. As a Channel Leader Club member you will receive the following benefits:

  • Priority badge holder identifying you as a Channel Leader Club member and giving you special complimentary access to amenities and events
  • Express pick-up of your show badge in the Channel Leaders Club lounge
  • Early access to the Show floor during show days, May 7-9, 2013
  • Members-only lounge access, which gives you daily complimentary breakfast, lunch and refreshments along with business center amenities including WiFi
  • Show preparation including new product and exhibitor information
  • Customized recommendations of who you should see based upon your product category responsibilities
  • Participation in the Rewards Program

As an IHA member association, if you require assistance with registration for a group, please contact Allison DeWitt at
 adewitt@nrha.org. She will be happy to help with your visit in any way.


Welcome New IHA Associate Members:
Ferroforma and the National Hardware Show®

Two major trade fairs, Ferroforma and the National Hardware Show are supporting IHA by recently joining the IHA as associate members. Recent initiatives by IHA seek to involve trade fairs around the world in helping to bring together IHA members and other international trade groups for networking and learning.

Recent examples of cooperation between trade shows, IHA and other international groups include a joint seminar program and reception at the Cologne Hardware Fair in March 2012 that brought together members of EDRA, Worldwide DIY Council and IHA. Also, in May 2013, a Global Home Improvement Conference is planned at the National Hardware Show, joining together IHA, EDRA, Worldwide DIY Council, Hardlines and the Presidents Council.

“Trade shows bring together large numbers of people with interests in international business,” commented Bill Lee, IHA Secretary-General. “Since everyone is already at the shows, there’s no better opportunity to bring together buyers and sellers to learn, share and network together. A special thanks to those shows that help support those efforts. And, a special welcome to Ferroforma and the National Hardware Show.”

Manfred Maus Receives the Global DIY Lifetime Award

Co-founder of OBI Manfred Maus will receive the 2nd Global DIY Lifetime Award, in an award ceremony at the gala dinner during the EDRA-fediyma 2nd Global DIY-Summit at Villa Miani on June 6, 2013. Maus was selected for his almost unparalleled contribution over three decades to the home improvement industry. He was one of the DIY pioneers in German when he opened the first OBI store in Hamburg in 1970. He served as CEO of OBI for many years before taking over as Chairman of the Board in 2000.

Maus was the first president of the German DIY Association (BHB) when it was founded in 1991, and stayed in that position until 2006. During his time as president of BHB, Maus worked with the French DIY-Retail Association (FMB) to form the European-DIY Retail Association (EDRA). Maus served as the second president of EDRA from 2004 to 2008.

Last year, Pat Farrah, one of the co-founders of The Home Depot, received the first Global DIY-Lifetime Award.

Italy Welcomes a New Hardware Fair

FexExpo is a new Hardware and International DIY fair coming to Italy, Sept. 18-19 in Bergamo. This fair is dedicated to all operators in the hardware and DIY markets, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers and associations. It will also include a diverse array of sectors, such as security, safety, hand tools, machine tools, hardware and garden. FerExpo is organized by Ente Fiera Promoberg to draw attention to products “Made in Italy” while embracing exports to new countries and markets.

News from the UK

Submitted by the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) and Hardware Today

2013 will be Good for Gardening, 
but More DIY Shops will Close
Research firm Verdict has forecast that DIY/gardening is set to be retail’s strongest performing sector in 2013. But it also expects some DIY shops to close. With weaker independents forced out of the market and the DIY superstores in the process of reducing their footprints, either by closing stores or sub-letting excess space to third party retailers, Verdict predicts DIY retail space will decline by 1.1 percent this year.

One of the reasons the researchers are confident about the garden sector growing an “exceptional” 3.3 percent is that it had such a poor year last year, with the wettest April and June on record severely impacting sales.

DIY will also report growth, albeit on a smaller scale, with decorative materials being the most buoyant sub-sector.

Shoppers conducting small decorating projects to freshen up their homes and make minor repairs, as they start to consider putting their houses on the market, will be the main factor for this, says Verdict.

Homewares is also set for a “meaningful recovery” with volume growth set to be positive for the first time since 2008.

BHF Stalwarts Receive Honors
Two BHF stalwarts, John Poore and Ann Chance, have been honored in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors list.

Mr. Poore, a past president of the British Hardware Federation and managing director of Poore’s of Acton, was awarded a British Empire Medal after a lifetime of raising money for good causes, including 25 years of supporting the industry charity the Rainy Day Trust.

Alan Hawkins, bira CEO, comments, “This award is completely deserved. What is really impressive about John is the way he has used his natural generosity and boundless energy to achieve so much to help others while driving his very successful independent family business forward on every front. He is an exceptional individual.”

Mrs. Chance, a past president of the London & Southern Counties branch, was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to the voluntary and charitable giving in the UK.

Lakeland to Open 40 More Stores
Lakeland aims to increase the number of its stores nationally from 60 to 100 over the next five years, and further the brand overseas. As part of this expansion plan, the family firm is investing £10m in its distribution center at Kendal, creating more than 100 jobs over the next five years.

The expansion of the distribution center will increase the firm’s storage capacity by 50 percent when the new building becomes operational in 2014.

The investment follows year-on-year growth for Lakeland, even through the recession. Marketing Director Tony Preedy says this was largely due to the rise in online shoppers: “We really are an e-commerce business now – more than three quarters of our orders come in from the Internet, and a significant volume comes from iPhones,” he says. “We had the busiest days in the company’s history before Christmas, and if we do not invest we cannot grow any further.”

Lakeland’s next store openings are in Milton Keynes and Edinburgh this spring. In the summer it will open a store in Germany, with its own website and catalog, and later this year it will open its eighth store in the Middle East – its first one in Saudi Arabia.

News from Sweden

Submitted by the Association of Swedish Building Materials and Hardware Merchants (Sveriges Bygg- & Järnhandlareförbund)

Christmas Sales Down 
Non-food retail sales decreased by 2.5 percent in December. It is the first time since 1995 that sales dropped in the important Christmas season. As seen in various industries, the sports trade differs from the other with a very strong development of nearly 24 percent. Shoe stores also enjoyed a sales increase of almost 7 percent. The biggest selling drop in December was the optics trade (-15.3 percent) and consumer electronics (-12.8 percent). Compared to the full year 2012, sales still increased by approximately 1 percent.

Industry Marks 200 Certified Suppliers 
The magic mark of 200 certified suppliers was passed at the beginning of 2013. “It's really gratifying and clearly shows how important the industry believes in our quality work,” says Ulf S. Gustafsson, CEO of the Association of Swedish Building Materials and Hardware Merchants.

This certification is made by “Vilma.” Vilma is the regulatory framework that has been developed in the business of regulating the item and price information is presented in a standardized and systematic way.

News from the United States

Compare Retailing Performance
For the last few years, retailing in many parts of the world has been challenging, so it might be interesting for you to compare your performance in 2011, the last year for which data is currently available, with that of retailers in the United States.

Each year, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and Hardware Retailing magazine provide an extensively researched profile of overall industry data and typical performance of the three types of retailers comprising the U. S. hardlines industry: hardware stores, home centers and consumer-oriented lumber/building material retailers.

NRHA estimates sales of hardware and related products through the three store types to have reached $278.3 billion in 2011. This includes sales of the two publicly owned chains, Home Depot and Lowe's, as well as those of Menards, the privately owned third-largest chain with estimated sales of more than $7 billion in 2011. It does not, however, include sales of such merchandise through other retail types, such as mass merchants, drug chains, specialty retailers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, catalog firms or the Internet.

The number of home centers shown likewise includes store numbers of the three big home center chains.

In the U. S., non-chain home centers typically are much smaller than the major home center chains, Home Depot, Lowe's and Menards. The third largest chain, Menards, is privately owned and no data for it is available, but its 250+ stores are even larger than those of the other two, in some cases more than twice as large.

Sales floors for the thousands of independently owned individual or smaller home center chains average about 1/9th the size of the two chains, though there are a few regional, privately owned chains operating sales floors of 25,000 to 30,000 square feet.

In America's larger cities, many hardware stores are much smaller than the average shown here. It is not at all uncommon to find some stores of 2,000 square feet, sometimes even less. In such cities, an average might be 4,000 square feet or less.

The NRHA data shows sales floors of consumer-oriented lumber/building material dealers averaging just over 7,000 square feet in size, but actual operational sizes are larger because most such dealers have outside storage for bulky lumber and building materials.

What the Data Reveals
Over the many years that NRHA and
 Hardware Retailinghave compiled this data, some of the statistics continue to reflect unchanging patterns:

1.   Hardware stores lag the other two store types in sales per square foot and sales per employee, reflecting their lower average sales volume and their tremendously broad inventories, especially compared to lumber/building material retailers. Sales-per-employee also reflect a higher percentage of full-time employees and less reliance on part-time help.

2.   Hardware store margins have continued to increase slightly over the years.

3.   Independently owned home centers, however, now lag the two public chains in gross margins. Both Home Depot and Lowe's have been concentrating on increasing margins during the last several years and now average more than 34 percent, well above what they were a decade or so ago. Lumber-building material retailers who concentrate on serving contractors generally operate with lower margins than consumer-oriented dealers whose inventories are broader.

4.   Average transaction size for the two giants reflects, in part, their major appliance sales, which would contribute to a higher average, as well as their larger stores enabling them to sell bulky products. The lower average for hardware stores reflects their heavier fix-it merchandise sales. 

5.   The number of retail outlets is down from a decade or two ago, but NRHA predicts it will remain relatively stable over the next few years.

A most important measurement for all retailers is Gross Margin Return on Inventory (or Investment), commonly known as GMROI. If readers are not familiar with or using this statistic to evaluate their management skills, an explanation is provided at the end of this report. It is an important measurement to use, and an easy one to apply.

Hardware stores have made significant progress with GMROI over the years, raising their average from around 100 to slightly better than 131. It is in this measurement that the inventory and margin management skills of the two big chains are most evident, with both Depot and Lowe's GMROI exceeding 200. Despite their broad inventories, they are turning their inventory three to four times a year compared with the two-time turns of hardware stores.

Lumber-building material dealers' GMROI in both 2010 and 2011 fell well below that of previous years, reflecting the sharp slowdown in housing during the recession. In 2008, for example, it had been 185.5 percent. Hardware stores also suffered, seeing GMROI slide from 162.2 percent to 2011's 131.3 percent.

Sales-per-square-foot for consumer-oriented lumber/building material dealers, at $432, are so high because outside storage area for bulky products has not been factored into the equation. The number reflects the interior store only.

To see a chart of these statistics from the NRHA’s study last year, click here.

Definition of Gross Margin Return 
On Investment (GMROI)
GMROI is an inventory profitability evaluation ratio that analyzes a firm's ability to turn inventory into cash above the cost of the inventory. It is calculated by dividing thegross margin, or by the average inventory cost and is used often in the retail industry. 

To illustrate: Gross margin return on investment is also know as the "gross margin return on inventory investment" (GMROII). Read more.


How Members Should Handle Email Complaints

The widespread use of emails can be very beneficial for our members when customers are satisfied with their products and services, but devastating when they are unhappy.   And unfortunately, people tend to rant more when unhappy via email than rave about good service.

A disgruntled customer can do serious damage to a brand, a marketing expert advises. Our members need to respond quickly, apologize whole-heartedly and do their best to engage the angry customer by email or by phone. The idea is to try to get the conversation offline as quickly as possible.

Newspaper Predicts Changes in Retailing

USA Today, a national newspaper, recently reported that "the convergence of smartphone technology, social media data and futuristic technology such as 3-D printers is changing the face of retail in a way that experts across the industry say will upend the bricks-and-mortar model in a matter of a few years.” While the article referred only to U. S. retailing, it might very well begin to apply in other countries. It is worth reviewing at least.

It quotes Kevin Sterneckert, an analyst who follows retail technology, as saying that within 10 years, retail as we know it will be unrecognizable. He thinks big-box stores such as Office Depot, Old Navy and Best Buy will shrink to become test centers for online purchases. Retail stores will be there for a 'touch and feel' experience only, with no actual sales. Stores won't stock any merchandise; it'll be shipped to the customer. This will help stores stay competitive with online-only retailers, Sterneckert says.

Branding strategist Adam Hanft says this all might sound futuristic, but much of it is rooted in reality. He says satellite stores will open in apartment buildings and office centers. FedEx and UPS will delve deeper into refrigerated home delivery. Google trucks will deliver local services. Some goods will be produced in the home via affordable 3-D printers.

“Technology advances won't just change the physical appearance of stores for consumers, but should transform the retail workforce into more of a customer-friendly field, too. Retailers who don't adapt quickly and successfully risk losing out,” Sterneckert says.

“What might this evolution mean for the nation's malls and shopping centers and people whose paychecks depend on today's retail model? Experts aren't predicting the end of the in-store experience, but it stands to reason that as with other industries, technology might improve efficiency while setting retailers on a path toward a leaner workforce.”

About IHA

The International Federation of Hardware and Housewares Associations (IHA) is a federation of associations from around the world who share an interest in the global home improvement industry. Its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the international standing of its national associations and to provide opportunities to promote the commercial interests of their members and channel partners. We always encourage new members to our organization; associate memberships are available for allied businesses who share in the interests of IHA members. For more information on joining, please contact our Secretary General, Bill Lee, blee@nrha.org.






The IHA Global Retail Report is published by: 
North American Retail Hardware Association

Contact us by Phone:
+011 317 275-9400

Forward this email to a friend.

Jesse Carleton, Editor — jcarleton@nrha.org
Bob Vereen, Contributing Editor —




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