Orgill, Inc. just wrapped up its Fall Dealer Market which ran from Aug. 14-16 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. The event spanned 865,000 square feet—making it the largest show floor in Orgill’s history.
In addition to its typical market-only deals, educational seminar lineup and new products, Orgill used the market to showcase special category-specific displays, new and remodeled retail concept stores and programming which centered around ecommerce and modern advertising strategies.
In conjunction with timely educational seminars, organizers dedicated a large area front and center for one-on-one discussions regarding ecommerce solutions. Through its Boost program, retailers can both create websites and link their websites to utilize Orgill’s small order fulfillment capabilities. This function allows end consumers to order product and have it shipped either to the retailer’s store or direct (with profits funneling back to the retailer).
“The program continues to evolve and offers retailers a way to seamlessly offer ecommerce services that more consumers are demanding,” say David Meany, Orgill’s vice president of ecommerce. In addition, Orgill featured its updated advertising program, which features everything from traditional circulars to eblast messaging in an effort to help retailers capitalize on the new forms of advertising utilizing electronic media avenues such as Facebook and Twitter.
Easy Navigation Through Innovative Showcases
Recognizing the challenges of navigating such a large show floor, show organizers also created special displays. These Showcases feature category-specific products, merchandising ideas, education and networking opportunities.
“Having the products displayed next to each other allows for easy comparisons and exploring of some of our most popular categories,” says Phillip Walker, vice president of marketing and advertising. “These areas not only introduce new product but allow attendees to find inspiration in unique, space-saving merchandising strategies as well.”
In Chicago, Orgill highlighted four showcases including: one to focus on hand and power tools, one to explore winter and wild bird assortments, one to introduce popular spring products and one to feature popular MRO solutions.
The showcases range several thousand square feet and were manned by Orgill and vendor representatives who were on hand to answer attendee questions.
“This is one of our favorite shows,” says Anthony Burke from MWP Supply, Inc. in Madison, Virginia. “It’s one of the biggest shows so we get a lot done and we’re able to gain a lot of insight into the market and our own business.”
New and Expanded Model Stores
In addition to the Showcase exhibits, Orgill has also become well known for its model stores. As a pioneer of this popular merchandising strategy, these areas of the show are set up as real-world stores. Ranging in size and focus, these displays provide attendees with inspirations and assortment planning for their own stores while spotlighting new products, services and special deals. This year, Orgill featured three model stores.
Kodiak Trails Hardware and Supply: Kodiak represented a comprehensive North American hardware store model, measuring 18,000 square feet and focused on seasonal displays as well as niches.
Everglade Building Materials: Coming in at just under 5,000 square feet, Everglade represented a pro-focused store and focused on retailing solutions for getting contractors in and out conveniently.
One Stop Hardware: As the new comer, One Stop Hardware store spanned about 5,000 square feet and focused on merchandising solutions for consumers. The aisles featured everything from wing panels to specialty fixtures.
Strategies for Driving Sales
In addition, Orgill highlighted an expanded rental area, a MRO niche showcase, and different elements to increase transaction size featured in the impulse area. Show organizers also had a special checkout counter on display with unique assortments and innovative merchandising techniques.
For retailers coming of a particularly difficult first quarter, the market offered time to replenish inventory and take advantage of deals.
“We were hit really hard this summer. We’ve had a great second quarter but we’re still trying to find ways to bounce back from the winter. We’ll use this market to really focus on stocking up on good deals and maybe explore some new products to drive some excitement,” says Bill Neil from Monmouth Building Center in Shrewsbury, N.J.