True Value Company held its 20th annual Rental Market in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 8-9. The event attracted more than 350 rental operators from the hardware cooperative’s rental-focused retail identities, Taylor Rental, Grand Rental Station, Party Central and Just Ask Rental.
One of the top rental markets in the industry, the event represents the first chance for participating True Value rental operators to preview the latest in rental gear, services and technology, and to exchange ideas with leaders from the rental industry through seminars offered to help them stay relevant and profitable in today’s marketplace. This year, rental operators had the chance to check out the more than 230 vendors that exhibited at Rental Market.
The day before True Value’s Rental Market officially opens, rental operators are invited to “Demo Day,” a one-of-a-kind, outdoor demonstration event for rental operators to check out vendors’ displays of some of their largest products, ranging from inflatable party jumpers and power tools, to cherry pickers and excavators.
Rental operators also have the opportunity to ‘test-drive’ rental equipment, including merchandise on public display for the first time. During Demo Day vendor representatives are able to interact one-on-one with rental operators, answering questions on merchandise and providing first-hand training on how to safely handle, use and maintain the equipment.
At this year’s Demo Day there were 73 vendor participants, one of largest showings since Demo Day became a Rental Market event more than 10 years ago.
“True Value’s Rental Market gives rental operators access to the latest industry news and trends, providing them with the information they need to create, sustain and grow successful rental businesses,” said Michelle Henebry Finnigan, director of rental business and maintenance, repair and operations, True Value Company. “In its 20th year, the Rental Market continues to be a well-attended event, as rental operators from all over the country come to take advantage of Demo Day, exceptional vendor programs and educational seminars that are great for peer networking.”
Finnigan was named MRO/rental business director in December 2008. The position was previously held by Steve O’Neal, now national sales manager.
Each year at Rental Market, vendors that have experienced outstanding business success during the past 12 months are acknowledged as “Vendor of the Year” in their respective categories. This year three vendors were awarded this honor:
• Eureka! Tents of Binghamton, N.Y., in the Party & Event category. Eureka! Tents creates outdoor tents for all occasions, including large-scale outdoor affairs, commercial events and backyard gatherings.
• Atlas Toyota Material Handling of Schiller Park, Ill., in the Tool & Equipment category. Atlas Toyota Material Handling controls the nation’s largest inventory of new and used forklifts and attachments, and is consistently ranked in the top 200 of Illinois’ privately held companies.
•JCB North America of Savannah, Ga., in the Construction category. JCB North America is the North American branch of JCB, the third-largest heavy equipment manufacturer in the world.
True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives with sales of $2.0 billion in 2007. The True Value cooperative includes approximately 5,400 independent retailer locations worldwide.