Do it Best Corp. emphasizes virtual strengths

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Do it Best Corp. emphasizes virtual strengths

By Ken Clark - 09/11/2020

There are some things that a live market does very well. There are other things that a virtual market can do very well. It’s those latter things that Do it Best says it is strategically emphasizing during its Sept. 13-18 virtual market.

Cover of the Fall Market Guide.

The market kicks off Sunday night, with a focus on exception deals, new products and connecting with vendors.

“Our markets have always provided our members with a great opportunity to connect and collaborate while exploring the great new products and special deals available to them. That’s never been more important than this fall,” said Dan Starr, President and CEO of Do it Best. “With the many disruptions to our lives and business this year, we’ve worked hard to create an online market experience that feels as close to the traditional event as possible. Now more than ever, and no matter where they connected, our members benefited greatly.”

Among those things that a virtual market can do well is offer wholesale deals to a wide range of retailers, who can shop the bargains remotely. The Do it Best market tradition of 90 minutes of “Sneak Peek” deals to kick off the buying event is being expanded in the virtual market. Through the co-op’s Market Savings Builder program, similar exceptional deals will be available over a 30-hour time span – beginning Sunday night.

Dan Starr, Do it Best Corp. CEO.

The virtual market will also feature 75th anniversary specials – with 75% discounts off certain items during various four-hour windows throughout the week.

The robust market website allowed participants to visit vendors’ and Do it Best program booths, watch strategic buying presentations from Do it Best lumber, building materials, and merchandising experts, as well as educational training sessions from industry veterans. Attendees were also able to view Dan Starr’s annual President’s Address and Brad McDaniel’s Chairman’s Address.

Without the travel barrier, the virtual market has seen registration of stores up more than 50%. “Our members can participate and whenever they want,” said Randy Rusk, director of communications. (Members can enter the virtual market through mydoitbest.com.)

Another advantage of the virtual show is the flexibility in attending educational sessions. “If you were busy at 10 am, and you missed an event, in the virtual world, you have the whole week to watch it,” Rusk said. “And all of a retailer’s employees can watch those videos as well.”

In the future, it’s possible that some of the remote features of the virtual market will combine with the features of in-person market to create a best-of-both worlds hybrid.

One of the highlights of the Sept. event will be the president’s address, which will certainly highlight Do it Best’s record profits in FY2020. Members earned record rebates, with $128.4 million distributed over the course of the market week. Nine members received rebates ranging from $1 million to $2.9 million, a new single-year record for the co-op.