Posted by: Diane Capuano
The crowd at the PDRA Show at the National Hardware Show had its eyes squarely on the future, thanks to a trio of presentations from renowned speakers in the areas of retail trends, demographics and consumer marketing. Presentations drew standing-room-only audiences at the Future Fair Stage, located on the floor of the trade show (shown at right).
Speaker Doug Stephens of Retail Prophet Consulting told the audience about how to attract the post-crisis consumer. He observed that what all of these consumers are looking for is value, and those retailers who provide it will be in a better position than those who don’t. There is no such thing as an average consumer, Stephens added, meaning that customization and personalization is important. “Those who survive will not necessarily be the biggest, but those who adapt best to change.”
Ken Gronbach, author of “The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm,” spoke about how changing demographics have impacted the home improvement market. After the sales surge provided by the baby-boomers, the industry had to endure a lull due to the smaller-sized demographic group the Gen Xers coming behind them. Now, the Gen Y demo group is poised to make things better. Gronbach predicted: “The housing market is going to come back with a vegeance.”
Kit Yarrow, author of “Gen BuY: How How Teens, Tweens and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail,” also told the audience about the power of Gen Y, defined as those between the ages of 10 and 31. “Gen Y” will have more spending power than baby boomers by 2017,” she said. She added that Gen Y decreased its spending less than other demo groups during the recent economic slowdown, and they are the first group that has started spending again.
The National Hardware Show, of which the PDRA Show is a part, opened with a bang on Tuesday, May 4, with a confetti explosion from a 65th-anniversary cake. PDRA’s Dan Simon and Bernard Rossi were on hand for the grand opening. Traffic on the first day was robust and energized. Look for further on-site reports from the show on May 5-6.