House-Hasson Hardware is set to hold a Virtual Dealer Market to replace its previously scheduled in-person event. The Virtual Dealer Market will take place June 25 and 26, with dealers and vendors able to conduct their summer 2020 product buying and sales specials online via video chats.
Company president Don Hasson says the business has shipped record amounts of products to its 2,500 independent hardware store and lumberyard dealers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the switch to a virtual gathering in the summer enables retailers, vendor partners and House-Hasson staff to remain distant but connected.
“Our focus is dealer profitability, and their activity is off the charts,” Hasson said. “We are up 20 percent year-over-year. Hardware stores and lumberyards are essential businesses, with things people need, and they’ve generally have been busier in the last several months than at any time in their history.”
House-Hasson holds three dealer markets annually. The summer market is typically held in Sevierville, Tennessee, just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This year, dealers will log onto the House-Hasson website and place their orders from participating vendors.
House-Hasson says more than 1,600 dealers and hundreds of vendors have already signed up for the virtual event.
“This figure is higher than the number of dealers who make the trip to a market, so the likelihood is that the outcome will be substantial in terms of increased ordering and vendor activity,” Hasson says.
The virtual market will incorporate every element of dealer market offerings, says Ron Yatteau, House-Hasson manager of dealer computer services, who developed the event’s electronic capabilities.
“Dealers will benefit from bonus buys, drop ships, pallet buys, coupon buys–everything we have at a regular market,” Yatteau says.
He says retailers will be able to click on ‘Vendor Booths’ on the company’s website and see a virtual representation of a booth. A click on ‘Coupon Book’ will show complete coupon offerings for special savings.
Video conferencing will also be a key feature of this virtual event.
“There’s a ‘Chat With Vendor’ feature, which will open up a meeting session with a vendor–and there are multiple options and components that dealers and vendors will be using to do business in this market approach.”
Hasson says all House-Hasson staff members working on the market will be required to be in front of a computer and accessible to dealers and vendors.
Just as at an in-person market, vendors and dealers can only speak with one person at a time; therefore, the virtual market will include the ability for participants to leave messages with vendors, dealers, or House-Hasson staff members they want to reach.
Hasson said the company is looking ahead to future markets and how the virtual component might be incorporated into those events.
House-Hasson Hardware serves independent hardware store and lumberyard dealers in 23 states and the Caribbean Basin. Visit House-Hasson online for more information on its virtual buying event.