Do it Best Corp. is prepared to offer its retailers any product or service they need.
This was evident at the co-op’s spring market, which was held last weekend at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The event featured new products and services and boasted a record number of prospective members in attendance.
The focus at the market was on growth—both by bringing new members aboard and, most importantly, by offering Do it Best retailers the tools they need to help grow their businesses.
“The time is now for our members to take full advantage of all the growth opportunities available to them,” says Dan Starr, president and CEO of Do it Best Corp. “This market spotlights how we’re driven to be the best. And with another outstanding opportunity for our members to lock in the best deals while building their knowledge through expert-driven seminars and workshops and connect with their peers, we also believe there’s no better time to experience the Spring Market.”
“We’ve got so many things going on,” says Randy Rusk, director of communications for Do it Best Corp. “The pace of change in the industry is really driving independent retailers and the businesses that support them. We’re doing things we’ve never done before, and we’re doing them faster than ever.”
Spending Time More Efficiently
Retailers have plenty to do while they’re at markets, and Do it Best Corp. rolled out a new tool to help them use their time as efficiently as possible while in Indianapolis.
The Market Savings Builder is an online tool that helps retailers make the most of their time at the market by allowing them to put their orders together ahead of their visit. Attendees can place orders as early as a couple of weeks before the market, Rusk says, and then refocus the time that would have been spent buying on other things instead.
“It’s really about streamlining the going-to-market process,” he says. “The Market Savings Builder allows our members to spend their time here in other ways, such as networking with other retailers or discovering new products and sales opportunities.”
A New Take on Paint
One standout feature at the market is The Color Bar, a new in-store experience that retailers can implement in their paint departments. It features a consumer-focused design and emphasizes trends, as well as a variety of color and product selections.
“Our store design team partnered with an international design firm and several of our members to explore what the store-within-a-store concept might look like,” says Rusk. “Paint is a very trend-focused category. With The Color Bar, we’re selling colors, not cans. We know that when customers come in for a paint experience, their biggest point of apprehension is about picking the right color,” he says. “The Color Bar is all about building confidence in color and product selections.”
Do it Best continues to offer a variety of programs and services for its retailers, allowing them to select the ones that work best for each of their operations, Rusk says. “The market is really an opportunity to get everybody excited and show them these growth opportunities for the marketplace, show our members what they should be doing. The response to The Color Bar is very positive.”
A New Category
The retail environment continues to face challenges as more and more large chains close their doors, either by reducing the number of locations or, in some cases, completely shutting down. This brings new opportunities to independent retailers.
One of these new opportunities is in major appliance sales. Both G.E. and Whirlpool were at the spring market with a selection of washers, dryers and kitchen appliances.
“The major appliances category is still strong, but vendors in that category have lost locations recently where they can sell their products, so they’ve looked to us and our store owners,” Rusk says. “We are working with our members to help get them profitably into major appliances sales.”
On the Do it Best Show Floor
The atmosphere was positive across the market floor, with retailers eager to make their market purchases, find new products and network with others at the show.
“This market has been great,” says Michael Cornelison of Gillman Home Center in Centerville, Indiana. “We come for the new building materials. We focus on siding and roofing, and we want to see anything new manufacturers are coming out with.”
He also appreciates the time to talk with vendors about any new products. “Markets, for us, are important since they let us learn about new products that we can offer our customers. We learn the things that we can then bring to our customers and educate them.”
Brian Scott of Jamerson Building Supply in Appomattox, Virginia, was in search of items that would bring “excitement to our customers.”
“We’re a rural market, so we’re big into professionals, contractors and builders, and we have a lot of rental property owners we supply,” he says. “Buying, stocking and selling is a game, and to be successful, it’s a game you have to enjoy playing. I always like the Do it Best market because of the people and the knowledge you find here.”
The Do it Best Fall Market will be held Oct. 13-16, 2017, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.