Dealers find innovations galore at Cornwell Tools Tool Rally

Hundreds of Cornwell dealers and their families from across the country converged at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in early March for the 2014 Cornwell Quality Tools Tool Rally, where they found plenty of new products, educational training, networking, prizes and entertainment. The company’s 95th anniversary was themed throughout the show through signage and promotions. Dealers earned thousands of dollars in promotional discounts and saw new products and programs designed to improve their business.

“We had more dealers than we’ve had ever,” observed Al Palmer, a 23-year Cornwell Tools veteran dealer based in Santee, Calif. Palmer was especially impressed by the Milwaukee Electric Corp. booth at the show, not because of the “spin to win” cash prize giveaway that caught his attention on the show floor as much as what he learned about the Milwaukee line when he got to the booth. Cornwell Tools will now be warehousing Milwaukee power tools, which have been a big seller for Palmer.

“It will help a lot of Cornwell Tools dealers,” Palmer said of the arrangement with Milwaukee Electric.

Palmer was also impressed with some of the new sunglasses on display at the show.

Nick Hebert, a New Orleans, La.-based Cornwell Tools dealer, was impressed by many of the new products he saw on the trade show floor. He was particularly intrigued by the diagnostic tools that use the Android-based operating system. “It’s user friendly,” Hebert said. “They (the technicians) don’t have to go run to the computer and look up stuff.”

Like Palmer, Hebert was also impressed by the cordless power tools he saw on the trade show floor.

All four of the education sessions were helpful, Hebert said. But one was especially noteworthy: “You Are The Competition,” a session that introduced a new Cornwell Tools toolbox. “They’re even getting high tech with toolboxes,” he noted.

Training sessions included topics like: business management, how to add customers and giveaway ideas. Other sessions gave the dealers a sneak peek at new tools. One seminar focused on how to sell the new Android-based scan tools offered by Cornwell Tools (from Autel, Launch, and Bosch). 

Dave Columbus, national sales manager, confirmed that this year’s Tool Rally scored one of the highest attendances yet. He attributed the strong turnout to 2013 being a very good recruiting year for Cornwell Tools and also having a record year in sales. He noted there were over 130 vendors in attendance at the show.

Columbus said that three major growth areas for the company in 2013 were diagnostic test equipment, cordless power tools and tool storage products.

During the awards ceremony that honored Cornwell’s top dealers for 2013, it was emphasized that Cornwell continues to grow not just through dealer growth, but also through historic growth rates in the dealer purchase average, which means the dealers are selling more and capturing more market share. Cornwell’s commitment to remain an employee-owned, family company was also a theme that was reinforced throughout the event.

Planning is already under way for the 2015 Cornwell Tools Rally which will be held in Disney World’s Coronado Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

To view photos from the trade show floor, visit