House-Hasson Hardware reported that its January virtual dealer market was able to “blow past” all previous markets in the company’s nearly 120-year history in regard to of sales size and growth over the previous year.
“Sales for the January 2021 Market were up about 30% over January 2020, and they were up 20% over our previous largest-ever market, in June 2020,” said Steve Henry, House-Hasson president and CEO. “The number of dealers and vendors continues to grow, and with it, sales and dealer profitability. Dealer profitability is our goal.”
The market, for independent hardware stores and lumberyards, was held Jan. 27-29. Plans are underway to combine its next virtual dealer market with a June 2021 in-person event, Henry said.
“Things can change, obviously, given the pandemic, but our goal is to get together with dealers and vendors at the Summer 2021 dealer market in Sevierville, Tenn.,” Henry said. “Relationships and personal contact are fundamental to our business. While dealers and vendors are making great use of our virtual markets – and a virtual component will remain part of our program – there’s a strong desire to get back together.”
About 1,800 dealers and 500 vendors participated in January’s market, according to Jason Monroe, House-Hasson merchandising vice president.
“January’s market was unique in the sheer number and volume of special buying opportunities,” Monroe said. “Our buying staff worked closely with our vendors to put together the most comprehensive offering of promotions that we’ve ever offered, and the result was a 25% increase in the overall number of specials.”
Monroe noted that the virtual market’s success is based on its design.
“The simplicity with which the application is laid out and it’s ease of use is helping customers make their choices quickly and efficiently,” Monroe said. “ We’ve intentionally kept aspects of our virtual market as similar to our physical markets as possible, and we believe that has helped with the results.”
House-Hasson also reported that 10 new vendors were part of the virtual market, including:
- RPS Products – pleated HVAC air filters.
- Taylor Enterprises – engine lubrication and fluid products.
- Nemadji – CBD and Hemp products.
- Alton Industries – wet/dry vacuums.
- CircSaw Technologies – skate plates and guides.
- Emax – Air compressors.
- Mountain View Seeds – grass seed.
- Melnor – hoses and accessories.
- Legacy Manufacturing – water hoses and accessories.
- SitePro – surveying tools.
“Between our market and the general scale of business today, we’re as busy – and perhaps busier – than at any time in the life of House-Hasson,” Henry said. “Can the sheer size and scale of business activity be a challenge? Yes, but it’s a good challenge to take on, for the benefit of our dealers.”
House-Hasson’s June 2021 dealer market is scheduled June 17-19, in Sevierville, Tenn., just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
House-Hasson serves some 2,500 dealers in 23 states and the Caribbean Basin.