With record sales increases in the home improvement industry showing no signs of slowing and retailers focused on helping their communities and running their operations, Orgill is releasing more details about the continued evolution of its buying events and how they will help support their customers’ growth.
Last year, in response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Orgill debuted its first Online Buying Event, indicating this inaugural event represented an evolution in the way the company would host buying shows.
Today, with two highly successful Online Buying Events in the books, Orgill is expanding how online and live buying events will work in tandem to offer its customers a more comprehensive, accessible and intuitive experience.
“While the restrictions placed on us as a result of the pandemic forced the innovation of our Online Buying Event, the concept has proven to be relevant whether there is a pandemic or not,” says Boyden Moore, Orgill president and CEO. “We need to offer our customers a variety of ways to interact with our team and our vendor partners. We also recognize that retailers are busy and more focused on their operations than ever. Integrating additional Online Buying Events that work together with live events is definitely our path forward.”
The first change related to this new strategy is that Orgill will not be hosting an in-person Fall Dealer Market, which had been planned for Aug. 26-28 in Chicago. Instead, Orgill will host a multiday Online Buying Event that will run Aug. 16-27.
The decision to forgo the in-person Fall Dealer Market was driven by a number of factors, including staff and customer safety, uncertainty about access to services and overall market conditions.
“We are encouraged with the positive trends we are seeing with vaccinations and the reduction in active COVID-19 cases, however there are still so many uncertainties when trying to plan an event the size of one of our in-person Dealer Markets,” Moore says. “While we are anxious to welcome our customers to a Dealer Market as soon as possible, we’ve made the decision that it will be best to do so in February in Orlando. Included in our consideration is the fact that retailers are busier now than ever with sustained surges in demand and a continued challenging supply chain, pricing and hiring environment. Replacing the live Fall Dealer Market with an Online Buying Event also allows us to remain focused on supply chain recovery and helping our customers in their stores during these continued challenges.”
In addition to the switch from an in-person to online event this fall, Orgill also announced that it will add additional Online Buying Events to its schedule moving forward.
“What started as a necessity has really grown into a more well-rounded strategy for us connecting our customers with the products, promotional pricing and seasonal specials they need,” says Greg Stine, Orgill executive vice president of marketing and communications. “We believe that by adding additional Online Buying Events to our schedule, we can help our customers take better advantage of the seasonal buying opportunities available to them. By adding events, we won’t be asking them to condense their purchases into two narrow windows in the fall and spring.”
Along with the Fall Online Buying Event in August, Orgill has announced plans to host the following events.
- A Winter 2021 Online Buying Event in late October
- A Spring 2022 Online Buying Event that will coincide with the in-person Spring Dealer Market in Orlando in February 2022
- A Summer 2022 Online Buying Event in late April 2022
Through the expansion of these additional Online Buying Events, Orgill hopes to create a better rhythm for its interaction with customers, allowing them greater flexibility in planning and ordering the products they need.
“We have had great feedback from our customers about the effectiveness of the Online Buying Events,” says Jeff Curler, Orgill’s senior vice president of purchasing. “We have also heard good things from our vendors about the engagements they are having with retailers. By increasing the frequency of these events and using them to augment live shows, we think there will be significant benefits for our customers.”
Marc Hamer, Orgill’s executive vice president and chief information and technology officer, also says the company has learned a great deal from both vendor and customer feedback about the user experience of the Online Buying Events and will continue to update the technology used to create a more intuitive and seamless experience in the online environment.
“We learn more and more with each event we host,” Hamer says. “We learn what our customers like and what they don’t like, so every time we finish one of these Online Buying Events, we take that feedback and get to work making the next one better.”
When it comes to the next in-person buying event, Orgill plans to pull out all the stops for its Spring Dealer Market in Orlando. Not only will the Feb. 24-26 event represent the company’s return to in-person buying markets, it will also mark Orgill’s 175th anniversary.
“Believe me, we are planning for the Spring Dealer Market to be a celebration in a lot of ways,” Moore says. “Most importantly, we want it to be a big thank you to our customers and our vendors for getting through the past year but also for supporting Orgill and helping us achieve such a significant milestone in our corporate history.”
Orgill, the industry’s fastest-growing hardlines distributor, was founded in 1847 and is headquartered in Collierville, Tennessee. Orgill serves more than 11,000 retail hardware stores, home centers, professional lumber dealers and farm stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in over 50 countries around the world. More information can be found at www.orgill.com.