Home & Housewares Show gives preview of things to come

The Detroit News – by Glenn Haege, “America’s Master Handyman”

At the 2005 International Home & Housewares Show on March 20-22, my crew and I traipsed through all three buildings of McCormick Place in Chicago. The exhibitors were very satisfied with the show. There was a far higher percentage of buyers than in past years.

The Canadian contingent, especially the buyers from Canadian Tire (a really big Canadian chain), had their pencils out and were buying big. I am going to tell you about some of the new things that my staff and I found this week. In what I consider to be acts of pure genius, the International Housewares Association brought together two new groups to walk the show and report on their findings.

The first was a group believed to be trendsetting women retail buyers. These are the people who shop Target, Costco and other stores and actually buy the products for their family’s use. The second group consisted of industrial design students who aspire to get into the business and appeal to the new trendsetters.

Both of these groups were very enthusiastic about what they saw. I will give you an abbreviated report about the exciting trends and products their findings next week. Here are some of the products I saw that addressed a real need or filled a niche:
The Battic Door Co., (508) 320-9082, www.batticdoor.com, specializes in making draft-stoppers. Three of them are excellent solutions to questions I get every winter.

The original Battic Door Attic Stair Cover costs $29.50. It encloses and stops drafts from folding attic stairs. The Fireplace Draft Stopper costs about $55. This product is an insulating pillow that blocks fireplace flue drafts, keeping heat in the home instead of letting it go out the chimney.

The Dryer Draft Stopper does just that. It is an automatic dryer vent cap that costs $17.50. It lets dryer vent exhaust escape but keeps cold air from being sucked into the house.

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