More deals, more options and more interaction were all in the spotlight at the Blish-Mize Fall Buying Market, held Sept. 15-16 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas.
Retailers attended the two-day event to prepare for the upcoming selling season and to take advantage of promotional buying opportunities, attend educational sessions and interact with vendors.
Blish-Mize added 20 new vendors to the market while keeping some of the most iconic features retailers have come to expect at the event, like THE 24, a special area of the floor dedicated to deep discounts on 24 of the most popular items. Along with THE 24, the Cash Coupon area and Assortment Central allowed retailers and vendors to interact and seek the next batch of products to offer consumers.
Blish-Mize also added a new area to the market this fall, creating a special area on the show floor where vendors could host live product demos and Q&A sessions.
“Our customers come to the market to learn about new products, take advantage of special pricing and discover things that will help them drive their business in the months ahead. We want to make sure we deliver in all those areas,” Blish-Mize CEO and president Jonathan Mize says. “It’s always a positive when we can bring in new vendors, and our customers are always looking for what’s new and wanting to learn about some of the best new options for their businesses.”
Mize added that beyond the products and specials, the market also featured other tools to help retailers build their businesses. “We really wanted to feature some of the new advertising tools we can offer our customers as well. We know fall is a tough time for our customers to leave their stores, so we’re always looking for new niches and vendors to make the Market the best it can be,” he says.
‘Helping Us Serve Our Customers’
Retailers were on the lookout for new products and best deals. The market offered the opportunity for vendors to feature their long-time favorites alongside new products and displays to best merchandise those items.
The new vendors and options weren’t lost on retailers either.
“Blish-Mize is really great on making sure their retail customers are prepared to serve their customers in turn,” Kathy Ewertz, buyer for Wichita, Kansas-based Star Lumber, says. Ewertz was primarily focused on products aimed at contractors and professional consumers, but all Star Lumber buyers are on the lookout for dual-purpose items that can attract both pros and DIY customers, and the Blish-Mize Buying Market provides those products.
“Barn door tracks are one new product we saw that we are excited about. That will be great for our contractors,” she says. “Blish-Mize is always great about working with us and helping us make our margins. That’s a big draw for this Market.”
For Tommy Medina of Schutte Lumber Co. in Kansas City, Missouri, the Buying Market impressed him this year with new products ready for the fall buying season.
“That’s what we come for. We need to see what the next thing is heading into the next season for our customers,” he says.
Retailers couldn’t miss a new addition to the Blish-Mize Fall Buying Market. Situated right at the main entrance to the show was the new demonstration stage, providing a steady stream of vendors who explained their products and displayed their use.
The stage was designed to add another layer of education for retailers, Mize says, while also giving vendors the chance to step out from their booths and engage multiple retailers at once in a way they hadn’t been able to before.
“Retailers can hear more about products during these demonstrations instead of waiting for one-on-one time with a vendor at their booth. It’s a way to maximize the time retailers have at the Market and increase their knowledge base at the same time,” Mize says.
Mize also stressed the rollout of a new Hardware House feature for Blish-Mize customers: fully-assembled vanities. The demand for ready-to-go items like the vanities is only rising among retailers and consumers alike, he says.
“These vanities make it as easy as possible for retailers to increase business in this category, and we’re working with a vendor that does its assembling in the U.S.,” Mize says. “They are extremely competitive with similar products assembled overseas, and we’re excited to offer this addition to the line.”
The Blish-Mize Spring Buying Market will be held March 23-24 in Overland Park, Kansas.