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In the U.S. tool market, the National Hardware Show (NHS), held each August in Chicago, holds pre-eminence. This is the place toolmakers have traditionally unveiled new products, and the time reserved for the release of each year's latest models. It has always been a show for distributors —not just any distributors, but specifically mass-market retailers. These days, more and more mom-and-pop hardware stores, lumberyards, and contractor suppliers are leaving the industry, squeezed out by bigger buyers whose concern for product packaging and sales positioning often supersedes interest in product performance. Shifting Ground Walking the aisles of the NHS, you can't ignore the signs of a shifting market. In every category, consumer products — from bargain