National Hardware Show has launched a dedicated matchmaking programme connecting the manufacturers of vital PPE equipment with retailers, distributors and end-users in the US.

Called PPE Market the programme is a major component of NHS Connects, a new year-round digital platform launched by the National Hardware Show team in response to COVID-19. 

“National Hardware Show was originally scheduled to take place in May” says Event Director, Rich Russo.  “Given that hardware stores are deemed essential businesses in the US, we launched NHS Connect to enable our customers to continue learning, networking, sourcing new products, and setting up one2one meetings ahead of the postponed show, now slated for September 1-3, 2020 in Las Vegas.”

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is absolutely critical to containing the spread of infection and keeping employees and the public safe as the US begins to reopen for business.

PPE Market caters specifically for retailers and distributors in need of PPE by connecting them with manufacturers who are part of the NHS community. At the time of writing over 100 manufacturers had submitted their PPE inventory, and more than 225 retailers sourcing PPE products had been put in touch with them. .

“PPE Market brings together suppliers and buyers of everything from medical gowns, face shields and respirators, to antibacterial wipes, disposable gloves and plexishields” explains Emily DeMarco, Director of Marketing. “Suppliers are invited to submit a form on the NHS website indicating their PPE product range. Buyers are also invited to complete an auto form (including a drop down for the industry they are in) outlining their PPE needs. On submitting their forms, buyers are given instant access to a continually updated PDF of all the list of the manufacturers supplying PPE products including information such as: company name, contact information, what type of PPE they manufacture etc.”

Rich and Emily are now working with other US event teams who have expressed an interest in extending the PPE sourcing service to their customers. “Other industries served by RX USA’s events, including retail stores, casinos, optometrists, jewellery stores and more, are looking at how they can reopen whilst abiding by government regulations and many of them will require PPE to do so. We are working with these events to help them correctly market the service to their customers who will be directed to PPE Market to source the products they need.”

The NHS team have received some great feedback on PPE Market from satisfied suppliers who welcomed the opportunity to continue connecting with buyers. “Thank you for the leads we will take all you can supply! We have quotes out to customers right now!” stated one. Another said: “I had a call from a paint store that is close to me.  The owner told me he had looked over the list and saw I had the same area code so he called me first.  He placed an order and also gave me two nice leads in our local area. One has already converted. I appreciate the service you provided to help us establish some new customers.”