Home Hardware’s fall market featured more than 3,500 vendors and every product under the sun, including inventions soon-to-be revealed on Dragon’s Den.
The bi-annual markets bring in 10,000 visitors to St. Jacobs twice a year to check out and show off new products. The markets are helpful for seasonal product purchasing, dealer-owner development, and education.
Public relations coordinator Jessica Kuepfer said the product she’s most excited about is the BAYO.S extendable ground screw. It’s an alternative to concrete foundations, useful for fences, playground equipment, decks, and the like.
Dennis Schulte said they developed it for Home Hardware and have been trying to get it into stores for years. The product has been in Europe for roughly 18 years because concrete was so expensive.
“Before we had our screws not retail friendly at all. They were all welded as one piece, so impossible to warehouse, impossible to distribute,” Schulte said. “But this system is really designed for the average user. We’re taking the guesswork out of foundations.”
He said if you discover a wet spot or a higher water level than you expected you can just add an extension, making it flexible.
One of the showcased Dragon’s Den products is the Heft. Essentially, it’s an auxiliary handle for long tools like shovels and rakes. It attaches to the shaft of the tool and makes lifting and bending less strenuous. It’s one of several products featured that’s only available at Home Hardware.
Environmentalists might be interested in the Green Lid, a fully compostable and disposable compost bin. It was created by brothers Jackson and Morgan Wyatt from Brockville, Ontario. The bin can hold four liters and lasts up to 10 days without leaking.
“Essentially people that collect compost in their house always have to deal with cleaning the bin after each use, and even those compostable bags often leak,” Jackson said. “Our container takes care of it. Once it’s filled you can actually throw the entire container and its contents in your municipal collection bin or your own home compost pile.”
Contractors, boaters, and hunters are prime targets for the Seek Thermal camera. The attachable camera allows Android and iPhone users to take photos and videos with a thermal camera. It can find heat sources from 1,000 feet away and even through walls.
Randy Britton said the technology will be useful for “anything from a clogged drain to drafts in windows, electrical hot spots, finding out exactly where studs are located in the wall.”
The first dealer market was in 1963 at the Elmira arena. It’s now held at the main distribution centre on Henry Street in St. Jacobs and nearly 1,100 stores from across Canada are represented.
The three-day event has brought in roughly $13 million in tourism for the Waterloo Region over the past 20 years.
The spring market will be held from April 18-21, 2015.