Even the frigid weather couldn’t cool down the hot deals at the 2023 Blish-Mize Spring Buying Market, held March 15-18 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas.
2023 marked the 20th year Blish-Mize held its buying market at the Overland Park Convention Center.
“We’re excited to celebrate this milestone and glad to see our customers come back,” says Blish-Mize CEO and president Jonathan Mize. “We’re trying to make it the best market we can by offering additional buying opportunities to help our customers get excited for the new selling season.”
The Spring Market featured healthy attendance from customers seeking the hands-on experience that Blish-Mize offers. In addition to the many discounts and deals, attendees were able to discover new products and learning opportunities.
Feedback from customers, outside sales and vendors also drove several new programs at the Spring Market.
“We’ve offered consistent programs for three years or so, and after gathering feedback from attendees, we added more quarter or mini pallet and impulse programs to the Spring Market,” says Clay Uhrmacher, vice president of sales and marketing at Blish-Mize. “We worked to get the best deals set up for our customers.”
The new “Aisle Openers” area featured impulse items and endcaps. A “What’s New?” area of the floor displayed some of the new warehouse items from the past 12 months, where key vendors were selected to give presentations of their products as part of the new item showcase.
In addition, extended floor time—a change implemented after a recent post-market survey—allowed ample opportunities for attendees to connect with vendors and their peers.
Chris Heiman, vice president of J.C., Inc., a builders’ hardware and supplies store in Moscow Mills, Missouri, was in attendance alongside her store’s general manager, Mike Galba. This was Galba’s first Blish-Mize Market as he transitions into his new role and Heiman was on hand to impart her knowledge.
“I’ve been coming to this market for over 20 years, and it’s like coming to visit friends and catch up,” Heiman says. “You come here and make lifelong friends—the Blish-Mize staff and vendor reps are like old friends.”
“This has been extremely helpful,” Galba adds. “I have attended a lot of home improvement and builder shows, and this is a first-class event. It’s the perfect size.”
Kim Wendt from Anita Supply Center in Anita, Iowa, says she attended the market to order displays and find products that will move and fill holes in her store’s inventory after completing a store reset. She was also looking to expand her store’s camping and sporting goods department.
“It’s always cool to see the new products,” she says. “They’re always coming out with fancy displays and backers, and we’re freshening up our store. We came for the discounts and deals, but we also came here to network with friends we’ve developed over the years. It’s nice to see people in person and make that one-on-one connection.”
Looking to the Future
“2022 was the strongest sales year we ever had in our 152-year company history,” Mize says. “We’re always working to help our customers grow their business and gather feedback about what they want from us. That’s why we’re still here.”
Mize cited a 95% order fulfillment rate, stronger than many of Blish-Mize’s competitors. He says the company will continue to work on improving this number in 2023.
Technology also continues to be a focus for Blish-Mize, with many programs and features moving online and on the market app.
Mize shared that while many customers want to attend the Blish-Mize markets for the in-person experience, the company has added new online opportunities for customers who are unable to get away from their stores. However, the best deals and terms, including discounts and extended dating, are only available to in-person market attendees.
The 2023 Blish-Mize Fall Buying Market will take place in Overland Park, Kansas, Sept. 14-16.