Building for Growth at the Do it Best Spring Market
Do it Best is building on the success of its virtual market format with its spring event. The Do it Best Spring Market, featuring the best buying opportunities of the season from the nation’s top vendors, is available exclusively online from March 7–19.
“While we certainly would have preferred to be together in person for our market, there is still much to be excited about as we continue helping our members grow,” said Do it Best President and CEO Dan Starr. “From the challenges of COVID to the more recent impact of the extreme winter weather across the country, our members and our team continue to demonstrate the very best of our industry. And our spring market provides a great opportunity for our members, Do it Best staff and our vendors to connect while locking in great deals on in-demand products.”
The spring market offers outstanding buying opportunities, including the popular Sneak Peek and the new limited-time Cyber Steals. The market Auditorium features strategic buying presentations from Do it Best lumber, building materials and merchandising experts, as well as Knowledge Central on-demand training sessions from industry veterans.
“We’re excited to once again provide our members a virtual experience that enables them to maximize buying and savings opportunities, connect with our experts and help ensure they’re optimized for growth heading into the new year,” Starr added. “And we’re equally excited about the opportunity to gather together again in person at our fall market in September.”
Randy Rusk, communications director, noted that purchases at Do it Best’s virtual market last fall were up 63 percent and they were anticipating similar results from this market.
“Year over year, our 2020 virtual fall market had 52 percent more store owner participation than our in-person 2019 fall market. We attribute that growth to ease of access (no travel needed), flexibility (essentially open 24/7 for a full week from wherever they are), curiosity (attracting members who hadn’t been to a market in a while), and opportunity (great deals),” he stated.
Eight months into the co-op’s fiscal year, Rusk said Do it Best is on pace for record sales that exceed $4 billion for the first time as well as record rebates for members. “We’re looking at 2021 as a robust year for home improvement and the industry is still very strong,” he said. “We’re focused on showing members how they can take their cash reserves and invest in new locations, new store design or a remodel.”
In his Spring Market Kickoff message to members, Starr said, “Eight months in, we’re positioned to follow up on last year’s record results with even better ones across all segments of our business hardware stores, home centers, lumberyards and industrial/commercial.
“That growth is driven by existing members as well as new ones. It’s fueled by members fighting for and earning additional sales. It’s also achieved by members adding new locations. And it’s being driven by a record year of merchandising upgrades, resets, and store expansions. It’s been about you and us investing in growing your businesses,” he added.
The ongoing issue of product availability has been exacerbated by the recent power crisis in Texas, according to Rusk. He pointed out that Texas is the largest provider of resins that are used in products like OSB, drywall mud, paint and caulk. With Texas idled for two weeks and then a slow recovery, retailers should expect continuing raw material shortages.
“For example, it’s difficult getting plastic caps for spray paints,” Rusk said. “We will continue providing as many alternative products for member needs as we can and we’re advising them to secure allocation of product when they can and that they’ll need to do strategic buying for the next six months.”
“In merchandising and LBM, our teams are laser focused on working with our vendors daily to secure you additional product and return our service level to the industry-leading level we all expect. So, our team has fought for allocation and found alternate suppliers. They started podcasts and text alerts to keep the communication flowing to inform you and help you adjust quickly to changing conditions. And they’ve looked for opportunities to bring you value at a time when the whole industry is facing price increases,” Starr told members.
“For example, when we learned recently about a raw material shortage that would drive up the price of water heaters, our team stepped in and negotiated special pricing ahead of that increase. That quick action locked in a 12% discount,” he added.