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The National Hardware Show, held every August in Chicago, is one of the biggest shows for the building industry. Traditionally it's where tool manufacturers introduce their new lines, but at this year's show, several major manufacturers were conspicuous by their absence. It is clear that the industry is changing. Undoubtedly, economic pressure from big-box distribution has been heating up the already fierce competition and, most likely, changing the marketing and distribution strategies of some manufacturers. How companies that were absent, such as Bosch, DeWalt, and Hitachi, will unveil their new tools remains to be seen. The manufacturers' reps who did attend seemed to place an emphasis on providing innovative tools, with