For Do it Best, growth by design

During live event in Indianapolis, co-op distributes a record rebate.
Kenneth Clark
Editor in Chief
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a group of people sitting at a table in front of a crowd
Scene from the Market Kickoff in Indianapolis.

Along with its live event, new vendors and face-to-face meetings in Indianapolis, Do it Best Corp. brought its full-year numbers to its Fall Market this week.

The co-op will celebrate a record-setting year, with $5.19 billion in total gross sales, up 45%—or $1.6 billion—compared to the previous fiscal year.

During a challenging and volatile year in forest products, lumber sales increased 121%.

And the freshly released annual report points to a 52% return on invested capital, and the largest member rebate in the company history: $170 million.

In Indianapolis for its first live market 18 months, Do it Best Corp. is hoping to build on those numbers. The official theme of the event: “Building for Growth.”

Grilling, and tasting, took place at outdoor exhibits on Monday.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for Do it Best members to build on the impressive growth we achieved together over this last year,” said Dan Starr, Do it Best president and CEO. “We want to provide every member with the opportunity to continue growing their business in the years ahead through new programs, store expansions and acquiring additional locations.”

Starr said Do it Best invested $15 million in such programs in the past year alone.

One of the highlight programs on display in Indianapolis is the debut of a new Signature Store Design program. The new design combines modern style, bright open floor plans, and engaging displays to create a superior shopping and buying experience, the co-op said.

According the Cherie Jacobs, store development manager, the new design program expands the “story telling” throughout the store.

“One of my favorite things of the program is the opportunity it brings to feature something that our members are experts in or are known for,” she said. “We have several different ways to create destinations throughout the store.”

The poster child for the new design is Vassar Building Center of Vassar, Mich. Half-dozen other projects are in the works, and Jacobs said 90 more retailers are in some stage of discussion over the project.

There is a tremendous opportunity for Do it Best members
Dan Starr

The Indianapolis event, which runs through Sept. 30, takes place during continued industry-wide supply chain issues. Do it Best’s Randy Rusk, speaking at a press event, said the event is designed to mitigate those challenges by offering more of what sells, discovering new products, and offering opportunities for collaboration on forecasts and planning.

Supply chain disruptions are expected to subside for another three to six months – longer for those products requiring resins, including paint and oriented strand board.

Rusk said the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op’s virtual markets during the last 18 months were successful in growing business, but the owner members of the co-op were clear in their feedback. “They said to please hold the live market, we want to be together in person. The big benefits here are the human connection and the chance for discovery.”

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