HARDWARE STORES

In Vegas, Orgill demonstrates the possibilities

BY Ken Clark
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Memphis, Tenn.-based distributor Orgill is a big believer in its model stores and their ability to inspire dealers to roll out new products and planograms.

At this year’s Fall Market in Las Vegas, Orgill demonstrated four separate store types full of the latest in merchandise adjacenies, signage and retail ideas: Copper Canyon Hardware, Four Corners Hardware & Supply, North Lake Lumber and Frontier Farm & Hardware.

“It’s amazing how effective and how popular the model stores are,” said Ron Beal, Orgill president.

The four stores dominated the entrance to the Orgill Fall Market show floor, and were built adjacent to each other. One of the new twists was the Four Corners Hardware & Supply, which incorporated a rolling ladder along a high wall of industrial-focused merchandise.

The Copper Canyon Hardware store was designed as an easy-to-shop store that was welcoming to women as well as men.

Beal said the theme of the entire was, like past years, steady improvement. “We’re trying to identify new areas for our retailers to grow,” he said. “That includes maintenance and repair, female friendliness and made in USA themes.”

 

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Orgill plans dot.com improvements

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Memphis-based distributor Orgill plans to upgrade its Orgill.com ordering tool for members, with an emphasis on improving its speed and efficiency.

The improvement project will be rolled out in two phases, according to David Meany, Orgill’s director of eCommerce. The first phase is expected to launch in mid September, with phase two occurring in spring of 2013.

Features of the first phase include a simplified menu, enhanced navigation, improved look and feel with “crisp, clean and a better user experience,” Meany said during a presentation at the Orgill Fall Market in Las Vegas.

Enhanced speed will be the result of a new Orgill cloud residing in St. Louis, backed up in Philadelphia. Orgill will also begin enforcing password changes as a security precaution.

Phase two will feature redesigned product pages, and high-resolution images, improved search engine and a enhanced order history, among other improvements.

The improvement project, Meany said, is partially a response to dealer feedback that called for improved speed, ease of use and enhanced product search in the ordering tool, Meany said.

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RONA unveiled new-and-improved website and mobile app

BY HBSDealer Staff

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA, the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor, has unveiled its new website and mobile application.

The new Rona.ca site offers a more user-friendly interface, and helps inform and guide consumers in their renovation or decoration projects based on personal interests. It also allows shoppers to evaluate and comment on some 30,000 products online. 

Customers are prompted to choose their favorite RONA store for pricing and availability, drop products in their shopping cart, and decide to have the product delivered to their home or to pick them up from the store. In addition, stores will receive up-to-date information on distribution center inventories. 

“Given that seven Canadians in 10 use the Internet to do their pre-shopping or online shopping, we can easily understand why rona.ca is the cornerstone of our new digital platform strategy,” said Karim Salabi, executive VP marketing.

The website will also allow the customer to choose his/her favorite store, offering greater flexibility.

RONA’s new mobile application, available for the Apple iPhone, gives access to rona.ca, in addition to a variety of other useful information, including:

• All products available on rona.ca, as well as inventory available at the customer’s chosen store;
• RONA flyers;
• Promotions and coupons;
• Information about specific stores (address, business hours, etc.); and
• Bar-code reader for easier price comparison.

“The new mobile application uses advanced technology that enables RONA to continue innovating with the aim of offering customers an efficient, engaging, modern and distinctive shopping experience,” said Louise Levesque, RONA’s senior director, e-business.

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