Orgill Market draws a crowd
Orlando, FLa. — There were several noteworthy features of Orgill’s 2011 Spring Dealer Market. The aisles were full and suppliers approached by Home Channel News were generally pleased with booth traffic.
Behind the scenes, Orgill CEO Ron Beal said the Memphis-based distributor was working to improve on a record 2010.
"It’s hard to hit home runs, but if we can be 1% or 2% or 5% or 10% better, the cumulative impact of that is very significant," Beal said.
In 2010, all of Orgills’s retail segments — hardware, home centers, pro dealers and farm and ranch — showed sales growth over 2009. The 2010 growth was also evenly dispersed geographically, he said. Dealers continue to face difficult economic conditions, and Beal cautioned against connecting strong show attendance with a turnaround in the economy.
Pre-registration for Orgill’s 2011 Spring Dealer Market here in Orlando was at a record level. Pre-registration was up 20% over Orgill’s all-time attendance record set in 2007.
Ron Beal said discussions with attendees showed a very positive feeling of enthusiasm. But it’s too early to pin that feeling on an economic turnaround. "These are people who have weathered the storm," he said. "They are entrepreneurs and they’re naturally optimists."
Orgill’s recently announced partnership with Canadian LBM distributor Castle Building Centres did, in fact, lead to a spike in Canadian participation. The market brought together more Castle dealers than have ever been brought together in one place — about 150 of them. So far, the partnership is working as expected, Beal said. "The combination of our front end expertise and Castle’s dealer base and their experience and expertise in the building supply area means that together we offer the complete package."
On the market floor here at the Orange County Convention Center, dealers flowed steadily through two model stores that offered merchandising ideas in a simulated retail setting: Beale Street Lumber and Delta Farm & Hardware.
House-Hasson embraces social media
Hardware distributor House-Hasson president Don Hasson described the broad topic of social media as an opportunity to compete more effectively and to be more profitable.
“Our dealers’ understanding is growing exponentially of how social media can make them more competitive with the big boxes and profitable in attracting new customers and keeping existing ones,” said Hasson. “Social media is today an indispensable component of the marketing equation.”
A seminar a the distributor’s Dealer Market in Nashville generated significant interest, according to the distributor.
“We had a lot of interest in our new customized flyer feature, which enables a dealer to produce and print a professional-looking flyer," said Mike Woolf, VP of sales. "They can distribute it via social media or by having it printed. They have full control.”
Attendance at the Feb. 10-12 market in Nashville, Tenn., was up 20% over 2010, according to the company. More than 700 dealers attended.
National Hardware Show welcomes more major brands
Describing the 2011 National Hardware Show as a "near sold-out event," organizers said more than 500 new suppliers will be participating in the May 10-12 even in Las Vegas.
“We are excited at the depth of suppliers signed up for the 2011 National Hardware Show,” said Rich Russo, event director, National Hardware Show. “We will see more of the industry’s biggest brand names on the Show floor, including some that haven’t been with us in a few years.”
The exhibitors will be organized across a handful of categories: Hardware & Tools; Homewares; Lawn & Garden/Outdoor Living; Paint & Accessories; Plumbing & Electrical; Storage & Organization; and Tailgating, Camping & Picnic; as well as core product categories being featured in the Show’s International Sourcing area.
The 2011 National Hardware Show will feature category leaders such as CE North America, Soleus, Seville Classics, Better Living Products, Jones Stephens, Twin-Star International-Duraflame, Ontel, Audiovox, Port-A-Cool and Lasko (Homewares); One2Products, Little Giant/Franklin Electric, Wayne Pumps, LDR Industries, Kingston Brass; MJSI; Santerra; General Wire Spring and Plumb Pak (Plumbing); Jasco, The NCC, Designers Edge, Amertac, Prime Wire & Cable, Technical Consumer Products, Feit Electric and Cooper Lighting (Electrical); and Jack Links Beef Jerky; Ironclad Performance Wear, On the Edge Marketing, Racor Inc, Karcher, All-Power/Steele Products, Great Neck Saw, MSA Safety Products and Cosco Home & Office (Hardware).