Beginning this fall, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) is officially broadening the reach of its membership to include independent paint and decorating store operators and will be changing the association’s name to reflect this new era.
From this point forward, the association will be known as the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA), and it will represent the interests of all independently operated hardware stores, home centers, lumberyards and paint and decorating outlets throughout North America.
The change comes following the closure of the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA), an organization NRHA had worked closely with for many years.
“Independent hardware stores and home centers share so much common DNA with independent paint and decorating retailers that this expansion of our membership can only benefit the industry as a whole,” says association president and CEO Bob Cutter. “We are excited to offer paint and decorating retailers an expanded breadth of resources, and we are also excited to combine all of their ideas and insights with the already strong pool of retail thought leaders from the hardware side of the channel.”
A New Era
Since 1900, NRHA has served independent retailers in the hardware and home improvement channel by providing them with a range of educational tools, industry advocacy and opportunities to come together and share ideas and best practices.
Throughout its history, NRHA has evolved to meet the changing needs of its members, and this recent decision to expand membership to paint and decorating retailers seemed like a logical extension to the association, according to current board chairman Dan Harris, owner of Palos Ace Hardware in Palos Heights, Illinois.
“We already have so much in common with independent paint and decorating retailers and we have already had paint and decorating retailers engage with our programs and services, so we saw this as a win-win opportunity for all the retailers involved and for the association as well,” Harris says.
As part of this expansion, independent paint and decorating store owners will immediately have access to all of the free programs and services available through the newly named NHPA.
Retailers who were paid training members of PDRA will have their membership transferred to NHPA and have access to the complete range of paid training services NHPA offers.
Additionally, NHPA is immediately assembling an advisory committee made up of key retailers from the paint and decorating industry to provide guidance in the future development of programs.
NHPA will also be reserving a seat on its board of directors for a paint and decorating retailer beginning in 2021.
Former PDRA CEO LeAnn Day will be serving as NHPA’s newly created executive director for NHPA paint and decorating programs.
“I am truly looking forward to the new opportunities this association will offer the channel,” Day says. “Getting all these fantastic independent retailers from the home improvement side and the paint and decorating side under one umbrella will create so many opportunities that just make sense for the channel.”
Continuity and Enhancements
While paint and decorating retailers will immediately have access to all the same NHPA programs and services as home improvement retailers, they won’t miss out on some of the most popular resources they enjoyed from PDRA.
NHPA will continue to publish Paint & Decorating Retailer magazine, a monthly publication that includes new products, how-to management information, retail and manufacturer profiles and more.
NHPA will also continue to offer paint and decorating retailers targeted social media support, industry specific newsletters and the opportunity to participate in annual research projects like the Cost of Doing Business Study.
“We want to make sure paint and decorating retailers have access to the programs and information they have come to rely on to run their businesses better and more efficiently, but also have them realize they are now part of a larger community with a broader range of resources and programs available to them,” Cutter says.
What the Future Holds
When it comes to the future opportunities for independent home improvement, paint and decorating retailers, the new, expanded NHPA has a number of dynamic projects on tap for 2021.
“In the coming months, we will be sharing some of the new programs and services we have in store for retailers, but one of the most exciting things that will mark the new year is the new pool of best practices, great ideas and thought leadership we will be able to draw from with the addition of nearly 10,000 paint and decorating retailers to our membership,” Cutter says. “For years we have preached that independent retailers are so much stronger when they come together through their association, and now we are stronger than ever.”