DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Orgill market attracts a crowd to Chicago

There's something for everyone -- especially independents -- at McCormick Place this weekend.

BY Ken Clark

Chicago — Orgill nation descended on Chicago for several days of networking, products and advancing the cause of the independent hardware dealer.

The Aug. 22-24 2019 Fall Dealer Market, featured the usual traffic-generating attractions — Door Busters, Market Busters, Pallet Buys and the early morning Flash Market, which offered discounts of up to 75% on certain items. On top of all those promotions, Orgill elevated six Product Showcases on the market floor, including Power Tools and a Spring is Here program.

Behind the merchandise was a concerted effort to bring expertise and innovation to the independent dealer.

One popular topic in the industry is eCommerce, as retailers strive to find the best ways to compete against large online merchants. Orgill has hosted an eCommerce Symposium for the past two years on the Wednesday before the dealer markets providing its customers with an environment to share and guide the development of eCommerce solutions that they need.

“The eCommerce Symposium is a unique gathering of some of the top independent retailers in our industry working together to share insights, solutions, and tackle common challenges as they work to build or improve their eCommerce solutions,” says Boyden Moore, president of Orgill. “This meeting sharpens our focus on Orgill’s Integrated eCommerce solution and how we can help our dealers be successful in their online initiatives.”

That competitive fire was also on display at the Learning Center on Thursday, when a presentation titled “Build Great Endcaps and Drive Sales” outlined Orgill’s PMAPP program – or promotional minimum advertised price program.

The program is designed to organize pricing and monitor and match the big box and co-op competition on fast moving, traffic-generating items.

“We want you to compete in your marketplace, and we want you to win,” Jennifer Wineberg, Orgill retail marketing specialist, told retailers gathered in the market floor classroom. Her presentation ended on a three-step retail execution checklist: buy smart, market effectively and merchandise wisely.

Another highlight here is the Four Seasons Hardware concept store. The DIY-focused retail showpiece measures 12,000 sq. ft. and puts an emphasis on outdoor living, paint, hardware, fasteners, household and tools, both hand and power. Dealers are “able to see, in a real-world environment, creative ideas on space-saving techniques, an impulse sales-driven layout and suggestions of how you can use your sidewalk space to expand your product offering,” said Ron Beal, chairman and CEO.

Merchandising ideas at the entrance to Four Seasons Hardware.

Case in point — a handful of colorful vintage bicycles stood sentry at the entrance to the store.
Among the retailers taking in the sights was Phillip Steffy, president of Zarsky Lumber. “It’s always amazing to find all the different things here,” he said.

The distributor’s six in-depth Product Showcase categories here in Chicago are:

• Worldwide Sourcing;
• Power tools;
• Grills;
• The Smart Start program;
• Spring is Here; and
• Impulse

The event officially ends Saturday at 4 p.m. Signs at the event were already promoting the distributors next major market – Feb. 27-29 in Orlando, Fla.

Paint ideas on display inside the Four Seasons.

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