In the News

Do it Best Spring Market Features Former President Bush, Big Deals and New Tech for Retailers

Do it Best President and CEO Dan Starr, second from left, shares his thoughts on the floor of the 2024 Spring Market at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

At the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, March 23 to 25, Do it Best members explored a record number of vendors, learned about the co-op’s new technology initiatives and even heard from a former U.S. president.

During an exclusive session for Do it Best members, former President George W. Bush shared his insights on leadership, succession planning and independent business in America.

“At last night’s event with George Bush it was inspiring,” said Pam Bliss, owner of Elitsac Lumber in Castile, N.Y. “His humility was so refreshing, and I wish all of America could hear what he shared last night. It was straight inspiring, just good.”  

In an exclusive event for Do it Best members, President George W. Bush discussed leadership, legacy and the power of independent business in a conversation with Curtis Smith, host of the Better Together podcast. 

Along with discovering deals and connecting with vendors, Do it Best members also found out about new technology-based initiatives the co-op is providing for members.

“Our spring market is a strategic platform for our members to harness the power of data, driving sustainable business growth,” said Do it Best President and CEO Dan Starr.

Aligning with that theme during the Do it Best 2024 Spring Market, the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op rolled out two technology-driven initiatives that promise to drive member growth—Inventory Productivity Analysis (IPA) and Tracula.

“As a company focused on leveraging data to help independents compete and win, we’re laser-focused on technology innovation to help our members grow,” said Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Nick Talarico. “By leveraging the IPA Tool and Tracula, our members can quickly and easily enhance operational efficiencies and optimize inventory management with unprecedented accuracy.”

During the 2024 Spring Market, Do it Best members took the opportunity to learn about new initiatives and ways to improve store operations.

The IPA system utilizes a heat map to visually identify which sections of a store are performing well or underperforming. With this information, hardware retailers can proactively shift merchandising efforts to improve sales. IPA readily identifies slow-moving inventory and helps ensure maximum turns.

Originally created for Nation’s Best stores, the Tracula system is now available to all Do it Best members and is an inventory-tracking system that uses point-of-sale data and an algorithm to select SKUs and ensure purposeful, accurate cycle counting. As part of the pilot programs prior to the rollout, the Tracula system was found to potentially cut inventory cycle counting time in half or more, according to Tyler Yates, operations specialist with Nation’s Best who helped develop the program.

In addition, Starr said Do it Best has “many more enhancements with data in development for our membership but we’re also investing in data for us as a co-op. Our commitment to driving efficiencies and sales includes our Warehouse Management System, contributing to an industry-leading 99.8 percent order accuracy rate and a 95.4 percent on-time dispatch rate, with a 92.2 percent on-time delivery rate.”

The Do it Best 2024 Spring Market was also an opportunity for the co-op to highlight its new initiative to stock Paslode products in warehouses. Paslode manufactures cordless and pneumatic nailers, staplers, and fasteners.

A record number of vendors were at the Do it Best 2024 Spring Market, with many hardware retailers in attendance looking forward to the Sneak Peek part of the show.

“Our focus on providing store owners with top-quality products has yielded outstanding results,” said Executive Vice President of Operations Dent Johnson. “Our members have responded, driving Category Solutions planogram sales up 35 percent so far this year.”

Also during the 2024 Spring Market, members attended the Merchandising Preview and the LBM Industry Update, which support member sales and growth. The Merchandising Preview was an overview of top new products, specials and vendor-exclusive products before the market floor opens. The LBM Industry Update provides the latest insights on industry trends, challenges, and opportunities.

The Do it Best 2024 Spring Market boasted a strong presence among farm and ranch, sporting goods, and pet supply vendors.

Members took advantage of exclusive buying opportunities to create pro-focused assortments and expert-designed planograms in the Pro Zone, specifically curated for lumberyards and pro-focused businesses. The newest lines of patio furniture were on the floor as part of the 2025 Patio Showcase. The four-day event also included about 30 free seminars led by industry experts. Topics include leveraging technology, gaining industry knowledge, increasing sales, enhancing operational excellence, and building on management skills—all designed to build member know-how for optimal business performance.

“There are extraordinary opportunities for Do it Best members to capitalize on the momentum we’ve cultivated throughout the past few years,” Starr said. “With data-driven strategies, new vendor partnerships, exclusive purchasing opportunities, and outstanding educational seminars, it’s evident that we’re the first and best partner to propel sustained business growth while achieving industry-wide success.”

Related Articles

Back to top button