New Exhibitors and New Products in British Group at the NHS

Published on March 4, 2011

*National Hardware Show
Las Vegas, USA
May 10–12*

New short-wave infrared heaters, steel chimeneas, weatherproof storage units, keyring accessories and greenhouse covers are among a variety of new items being brought to the North American market by eleven British garden and leisure product companies exhibiting at this year’s National Hardware Show. Eight of the companies have booths in the British pavilion, two have independent booths and one is sharing its associate US distributor’s booth. Five of the companies are exhibiting for the first time at the NHS. The British group has been organized by the Gardenex export federation which has a British garden and leisure industry information booth (North Hall, Booth 10331) in the British pavilion. The federation is offering a comprehensive range of services to overseas buyers including a free-of-charge British garden and leisure product sourcing service.

The British exhibitors:

ALM Manufacturing (North Hall, Booth 10337) specializes in the manufacture of spools and line for string grass trimmers. The company offers over 100 different spools and line suitable for more than 80 different brands of string grass trimmers, including models for mass merchants’ own brands as well as the established mainstream brands. Spools are supplied pre-filled with high quality, long lasting trimmer line and are offered as a direct replacement for the original spool. All of the spools are manufactured and filled with line in the UK and are designed to exceed the exacting specifications of the original spool.
ALM Manufacturing can also provide the pre-packaged spools bearing ALM or customer’s own brand names. These are in visually attractive and environmentally friendly R-PET clam-packs, allowing easy merchandising for display and self selection by the consumer. The company is seeking wholesale and mass merchant distribution in North America.

DRi BOX (North Hall, Booth 10376) is exhibiting its simplistic outdoor electrical connection box that features an open and close lid that does not require the use of tools. The product is portable and can be re-used for different tasks all year around, such as connecting holiday and low voltage lighting, garden appliances and water features. DRi BOX was produced to satisfy the demand for a temporary connection box created by the sales growth in outdoor lighting, aquatic equipment and electrical accessories used for outdoor living. The item is available in two logical sizes to house multiple connections; 330 is the original size which can accommodate up to 2 x 4 socket power strips or a 30ft reel cord, 285 is the new smaller size suited to 1 x 4 socket power strips. The range has IP55 protection against water and dust ingression, and is design protected and patented in the USA. The DRi BOX was successfully introduced to the USA market at the Atlanta Gift Mart in 2010, which resulted in accounts being gained with garden/aquatic centers, hardware stores, holiday lighting installers and electrical distributors. Since its introduction three years ago over 80,000 units have been sold in the UK, followed by sales in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Japan.

Gardenex (North Hall, Booth 10331) is the export federation for the British garden and leisure industry. It has extensive experience of dealing with the North American market, which is rated within the top three export markets for member companies of the Gardenex federation. Since its formation 50 years ago, Gardenex has built up close contacts within the North American lawn and garden industry and has brought British groups of exhibitors to the National Hardware Show for the past 16 consecutive years. American buyers have also taken part in the Gardenex Buyer/Supplier Meeting days held in the UK. The British information booth at the NHS is the focal point for international buyers wishing to source garden, leisure and pet products from the 150 members of the Federation. It provides international buyers with free of charge product-sourcing on the thousands of garden, leisure and pet products available from Gardenex member companies along with other information on the British lawn and garden sector. (North Hall, Booth 10333) is exhibiting its practical scoop for use in cleaning up dog mess or for other DIY, domestic or industrial applications where a scoop type product is required. The Handiscoop is available in 40cm and 80cm lengths and is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to store. Handiscoop is a most useful item for dog owners as it provides the ideal means of collecting dog’s mess discreetly without any need for bending or contact with the mess. It can also be used with a bag collection method by simply fitting a biodegradable bag over the jaws of the grab. The Handiscoop works on any surface so can also be used for picking up litter on a beach, in the park or on hard surfaces. The company is seeking to add distributors in North America to its existing network covering mainland Europe, Ireland, East Europe, Australasia and the Middle East.

Heatmaster (North Hall, Booth 10428) is exhibiting its short-wave infrared heaters for garden, workshop, home and commercial applications for the third time at the NHS. Wall mounted, umbrella mounted and free standing, the products provide heat that is instant, can be directed at people and objects and is not affected by windy conditions. New products being launched at the NHS are an ETL & CETL approved Ultra, free standing 1.5kW heater to IPX5 in stainless steel and aluminium and an ETL & CETL approved four head U3 1.5 kW umbrella mounted heater. The company’s US/Canadian range of heaters is certified by ETL Semko to CETL and ETL, and UL approved components are used throughout. Heatmaster products are already available from Jensen Distribution in the US and Fusion Products in Canada.

La Hacienda (North Hall, Booth 10335) sources and supplies a wide range of chimeneas and firepits in many sizes and different materials. The company’s chimenea range includes traditional clay models, cast iron products and a successful range of contemporary chimeneas in powder coated and corten steel. There is also a large selection of firepits and braziers. New products being launched at the NHS are Colorado steel chimeneas and contemporary corten steel chimeneas. La Hacienda has supplied outdoor heating products to major hardware and grocery chains, lawn and garden centers and outdoor living stores throughout the UK and Europe for over 12 years and has also supplied products to countries in Africa and Asia. The company is now planning to move into the US market and is seeking distributors for its exclusive designs.

Laura Ashley Garden (North Hall, Booth 10436) is showing its range of stylish, fashionable garden products designed mainly for the women’s market. Most of the products carry one of the exclusive Laura Ashley patterns and where a pattern is not possible a coordinating color has been selected. The extensive range includes Wellingtons, gloves, garden aprons, kneeling cushions, trugs, hand tools, hammocks, picnic baskets, barbecue sets, colored screening and edging, outdoor casual seating, umbrellas, hanging baskets, garden features, patio sets and metal decorative ornamentation. Some patterns are used in many different product categories such as Wellingtons, gloves, aprons etc so that a coordinated ‘look’ in the garden can be achieved. Other patterns have been chosen to stand alone. Already successfully sold in Europe and Australasia it arrives for its first season in the US. The company has appointed Commerce Corporation of Baltimore as its exclusive distributor to garden centers, department stores and gift shops. Commerce Corporation will be carrying stock in their warehouses in the US.

Outside-in Designs (North Hall, Booth 10430) is the brand name for a range of over 100 indoor/outdoor clocks. The indoor clocks and thermometers are presented in full retail packaging and prices vary to suit all budgets. There is a wide variety of designs, many of which have a particularly British feel. The company is now working on a new clock that can be branded to show a company name or message, making it suitable for bars and restaurants. Display stands are available in sizes to suit small shops up to large garden centers. Outside-in-Designs currently supplies the UK gift and garden center market together with a number of other European countries. Distributors are now being sought in North America.

Straight plc (North Hall, Booth 10230) is showing its range of home compost bins including the Compost Converter, which is Britain’s best selling home compost bin. This strong, simple and assembly free composter has an extra wide hatch for the removal of the finished compost. Also exhibited is a range of water barrels, including the 200 litre Garden Lake that is a tough and durable water barrel with a wood grain effect. It has a child-safe lid and is made from recycled plastic. Both products have proved to be extremely popular with many large retail supply chains in the UK, America, Europe and Australia. In 2008, Straight plc formed a partnership with RTS Companies Inc. to supply recycling products and services across Europe and North America. RTS is a North American manufacturer of custom and proprietary molded products, operating on two manufacturing sites in St. Clements, Ontario and Austinburg, Ohio. A manufacturer of rain barrels since 2000, RTS has expanded its product range to include trickle systems and rainwater harvesting systems.

TidyTent (North Hall, Booth 10432) provide the ideal solution for storing bicycles, lawnmowers, barbecues, garden toys, strollers, buggies, mobility scooters, garden furniture etc. The new weatherproof polyester/polyurethane fabric storage units can be secured to a wall or fence for use at home or also used as a freestanding unit, thus giving portability for leisure and travel. The TidyTent is large enough to store two adult-size bicycles and has a zipped detachable front cover for easy access. It packs to a small compact size (21 inches by 7.5 inches by 4 inches) and weighs only 7 lbs. Several other new products are being shown at the NHS. They are an Anka Point wall-mount security fixture; a CultiCave – modular pvc growhouse; a Prop-a-Plant growbag cane support; a Laundry Dome for drying clothes even in the rain; a Buggy Brolly clamp-on umbrella for strollers and buggies; an Eazy Shade UV protective clamp-on sunshade; and a windproof umbrella shaped like a witch’s hat. The company is looking for retailers and distributors in different market sectors, including garden, outdoor living, sport/leisure, campervan and trailer.

True Utility (Central Hall, Booth 6639) designs and produces around 50 items that include windproof lighters, pocket knives, multi-tools, key-ring accessories and LED torches. The products are designed in the UK and many of them are patented. Among the new products being launched at the NHS is a selection of design led key-ring accessories, highly functional bright LED torches and a selection of innovative multi-tools. Mango International of Pine Island, New York has been a distributor of the range since 2010, and True Utility is seeking to add new distributors for countries across the world and retail outlets of any size within the USA.

VegTrug (North Hall, Booth 10329) is showing its VegTrug raised self contained vegetable garden that has been designed for growing vegetables in the smallest spaces. The VegTrug is V-shaped, and this wedge shape allows for deep and shallow rooted vegetables to be grown together. It is produced from sustainable plantation grown fir and is available in large (200cm), small (100cm) and mini (75cm) versions and in both natural wood and painted finishes. The height allows for easy working and requires no bending or kneeling. It is supplied in flat pack form and is easy to build. In a short space of time VegTrug has become one of the fastest growing garden products in the UK and is sold throughout Europe and Australasia. While at the NHS, the company is also launching a new range of greenhouse covers which will extend the growing season when using the VegTrug. The micro mesh covers will protect plants from insects and flies and fleece covers will stave off frost.

Buyers wishing to learn more about the British exhibitors or the multitude of UK garden and leisure items available for export should contact Charlie Parker at Gardenex (The Federation of Garden and Leisure Manufacturers Ltd), the trade association that works on behalf of British companies to help its members increase sales worldwide
telephone: +44 (0) 44 1959 565995 or fax: +44 (0) 1959 565885
e-mail: or visit the Gardenex website on

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