Shane Sutton, left, an Oklahoma City, Okla. Cornwell dealer, visits with Elliot Maras at the Professional Distributor booth.
Hundreds of Cornwell Quality Tools dealers converged on the Hyatt Regency Dallas for two days last week for the annual Cornwell Tools Rally where they saw plenty of new tools at the trade show, attended education sessions, received discounts on tools, won prizes and honored fellow dealers for years of service. Final numbers were not available at this writing, but Cornwell officials interviewed by Professional Distributor believe dealer attendance was strong.
Dave Columbus, national sales manager for Cornwell Tools, said there were about 140 exhibitors at the trade show, making a strong exhibitor turnout.
Exhibitors, for their part, agreed the show was well attended and noted dealers were placing orders.
Dealers interviewed noted there were many new tools to see in a variety of tool categories. Dealers also said they appreciated the chance to share notes with fellow dealers and to meet one-on-one with manufacturers who answered questions about their products.
Columbus noted Cornwell used the show to debut some new and exclusive tools, including a new line of diagnostic equipment, additions to the U.S. manufactured hand tool line, and a new toolbox line called the “Pro Series.”
“Our custom line will continue to be the flagship of tool storage products, but in introducing the Pro Series we are also now offering a value priced alternative,” Columbus said. “We are very excited to be able to expand our line of tool storage and give our customers more choices, and more reason to buy Cornwell.”
In addition, Summit Bodyworks presented a new tool truck for Cornwell with a 26-foot box. The truck includes an area behind the cab with an office on one side and kitchen appliances (microwave oven and refrigerator) on the other.
The education sessions included both tool specific training, such as the new diagnostic tools and the toolboxes, and business management training.
“This is where the real interaction takes place,” Columbus said of the annual event. “We don’t just try to sell at these events, we put a lot of emphasis on training our dealers how to sell and how to better manage their business. We know if our dealers are successful business people, they will buy from us and we will both succeed. The dealers are our only customers and they are very candid in their feedback. We use that feedback to continually adjust what we do to provide them with the best service we possibly can.”
Columbus further noted that 2013 is on track to be another record sales year for the company. He noted that both 2011 and 2012 posted record sales. “We’re trending to break 2012 this year,” he said.
Greg Smith, a Cornwell dealer in Genola, Utah, said he was especially interested in the diagnostic tablets on the show floor. “Scan tools are the ever changing category, just like cell phones,” he said.
While diagnostic tools and storage equipment drew a lot of interest on the show floors, several dealers also noted there were a lot of new hardlines to see.
Rich Gochenour, a dealer in Missouri Valley, Ia., was impressed with a new line of Metal Man welding helmets made exclusively for Cornwell Tools.
For photos from the show, click here.