14062 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 1:51pm
AT THE HOUSEWARES SHOW–Even with talk of recession in the news and challenging times for both retailers and manufacturers, people have a positive outlook at the International Home & Housewares Show, which opened here in Chicago yesterday.
“If things are really good, buyers continue to buy what’s selling well,” said Chris McCarthy, vice president and manager of M.E. Heuck. “When they’re not, buyers look for newness and change.” Consumers are spending money on gas and other necessities, so manufacturers and retailers need to give them a good reason to buy, he said, and at Heuck that meant offering new cookware lines with established brands Hamilton Beach and Proctor Silex. These are brands with a history with the consumer, and that’s “what we want to provide,” McCarthy said.
Other vendors looked to the show as an opportunity to meet with other types of retailers. Familiar with mass, first-time exhibitor Base Brands wanted face time with the specialty retailer crowd, said Ken Kreafle, president.
Base Brands debuted its eco-friendly line, which included biodegradable items and trash cans for recycling, and it wasn’t the only one to offer green products to attendees. Many companies added an eco-friendly touch to their lines, whether it was in recycled, reclaimed or biodegradable materials, in packaging or another aspect.