Combining both in-person and virtual elements, Orgill’s Spring Dealer Market and Online Buyer Event broke all previous buying market sales records. Sales from this event were up 33 percent from the 2021 Spring Online Buying Events and 47 percent higher than Orgill’s last in-person Dealer Market in Spring 2020.
“Last year’s Spring Online Buying Event was the largest show in terms of sales that we had ever had,” says Boyden Moore, Orgill’s president and CEO. “To see this first-ever hybrid event surpass that show by such a wide margin is really a testament to how well the concept has resonated with our customers, how eager they were to get back to business, how strong sales are in the market right now and how well our vendors rose to the occasion.”
Along with breaking sales records, the event, held in Orlando, Florida, also celebrated the company’s 175th anniversary. Orgill invited all market attendees and their guests to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for a private party to say thank you.
More than 12,000 people attended the party and enjoyed food and drinks, including the two 175th anniversary beers produced for the celebration. Orgill worked with Memphis-based High-Cotton Brewing Co. to produce the two commemorative beers that not only recognized Orgill’s 175th anniversary but also paid homage to two of Orgill’s influential leaders—Joe Orgill and Mike McDonnell.
“We wanted to do something really special, not just to mark the occasion but to also thank our customers and vendors who have been the foundation of our success as a company,” says Greg Stine, Orgill’s executive vice president of marketing and communications. “Getting everyone together at Universal was also an opportunity for us to celebrate the return to in-person events and do it in a fun way that everyone could enjoy.”
On the Wednesday prior to the start of the Spring Dealer Market, Orgill hosted representatives from about 100 different retail operations at its annual Technology Symposium. The company has hosted the symposiums for five years, and they have evolved to focus on e-commerce along with retail technologies like in-store technologies, mobile apps, POS systems, loss prevention, analytics and more.
The most recent iteration of the event was a clear testament to how far the concept has come since its inception, according to Grant Morrow, Orgill’s program director for retail and eCommerce.
“When we first began hosting these events, it was a handful of companies who were early supporters of e-commerce and who wanted to get together to learn about how Orgill, with our industry partners like Unilog and Epicor, could work with them to help launch and maintain an e-commerce presence,” Morrow says. “Now, we have hundreds of companies attending this and it has gone from a small gathering of retailers to a full-scale event.”
This year’s symposium included a number of speakers addressing the growth of e-commerce, the role technology is playing in today’s retail operations and updates on Orgill’s technology offerings. In the keynote, North American Hardware and Paint Association chief operating officer Dan Tratensek discussed why independent retailers should not be content to just compete online but should set their sights on winning.
Other speakers included Morrow, Will Aubuchon, president and CEO of The Aubuchon Company, and John Sieggreen, Orgill’s executive vice president of retail.
“It was really impressive to see how this event has grown from somewhat humble beginnings,” Morrow says. “Not only did we have a large crowd attending, but this was the first time we have ever live-streamed the event as well so we could get this important information out to a broader audience than we have ever been able to in the past. It was a major new chapter for this event and underscores how important the topic of technology and e-commerce are for today’s retailers.”
To share the content that took place during the Symposium, Orgill has developed a dedicated YouTube playlist so anyone who couldn’t attend the event or watch the livestream can still take advantage of the insights and information. The YouTube playlist can be found here.