Do it Best springs into business

Indianapolis -- Do it Best Corp. hosted its Spring Market with a major calendar shift. After years of bringing dealers to Indianapolis in May for the first of its two annual markets, the co-op is shifting to a run of spring markets in February.

The 2021 Spring Market will be back in May for a one-time stint, then begins a long run of February events.

The move to February was deemed advantageous for members, as they're no longer asked to leave their stores during the peak May selling season. Do it Best CEO Dan Starr said members are completely onboard with the market calendar shift, despite the colder Indianapolis weather.

Aside from timing, the Do it Best Market served up a number of themes and industry trends – chief among them, the importance of training. Building great employees and great leaders at the local level is crucial, especially during the “new normal” of “volatile economic times driven by a host of global factors,” the CEO said during the market kickoff event.

To prepare for future success, the co-op offers no fewer than four institutions of retail education: The School of Design, the Leadership Development Institute, the LBM School and the CORE (College of Retail Education). These events are held throughout the year, and build on the education seminars – rebranded this year as “Knowledge Central” -- delivered at the co-op’s market.

On the product side, Do it Best reported a substantial expansion in the paint category, adding Benjamin Moore and Glidden to its offering in the last few months.

And in the power tool aisle, VP of Marketing Rich Lynch said the layouts and assortments featured in the Core Solutions area on the market floor reflected an ability of the co-op to “do as good a job at power tools as anyone out there.”

And on top of all the merchandising moves and dealer education, the co-op executives pointed to a significant data-driven shift in the role of the co-op – from the role of a partner that walks beside the dealer through a myriad of choices and offerings, to the role of a guide that offers knowledgeable advice.

The change is the result of transaction and demographic data available to the co-op that allows the co-op to offer strong suggestions. “ You should do this,” as opposed to “You could do this.” Rich Lynch describes the evolution this way. Referring to the interaction of field staff and members, he said: “It’s not just a member visit anymore. It’s a call. We can walk in with specific requests, suggestions – the data is changing our relationship with members. We’re not living in a world of opinion any more. We can say, ‘You should do this. And by the way, here’s the data that shows the reasons why.’”

According to Randy Rusk, VP of communications, the spring market marks the co-op's fifth consecutive market with record attendance of prospective members.