Orgill is welcoming thousands of retailers to the Big Easy this week as it officially kicks off its 2023 Spring Dealer Market at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
The event, which runs from Feb. 9-11, brings together retailers from across the United States and around the world to browse more than 900,000 square feet of exhibits from the industry’s leading vendors, interact with Orgill team members, shop for best-in-class promotional buys and attend a range of educational sessions.
“We are thrilled to welcome our customers and exhibitors to New Orleans,” says Boyden Moore, Orgill’s president and CEO. “We know how these events play an important role in helping our customers build more profitable businesses, and we are committed to finding ways to make our Markets even more meaningful and accessible.”
While the Dealer Market officially kicked off on Thursday, the “unofficial” start of the Market was actually held Wednesday as Orgill hosted several hundred guests for its Technology Symposium.
The Technology Symposium was focused on providing Orgill’s customers with the latest information on technology trends impacting the industry, updates on Orgill’s tech-focused initiatives and allowed attendees to network with one another, as well as industry experts.
“These events started out as small gatherings for retailers utilizing our eCommerce solutions,” says Marc Hamer, Orgill’s executive vice president and Chief Information & Technology Officer. “Since we initially began bringing these retailers together, the event has grown into somewhat of a conference in its own right.”
At this year’s Symposium, topics addressed ranged from “The Future of Digital” to how technology is impacting the direction of point-of-sale systems.
While the audience for the Tech Symposium has grown through the years, Hamer and the Orgill team wanted to make the event available to an even larger audience, so this year’s Symposium was also livestreamed and recorded for future viewing.
“This is all valuable information, so we want to make it as accessible as possible to our customers, whether they could make it to the Market or not,” Hamer says.
Best of Both Worlds
Another way Orgill is making its Dealer Markets accessible to a broader range of customers is by hosting a truly hybrid event, which combines both the traditional in-person Dealer Market experience with the ease and functionality of an Online Buying Event.
The in-person Dealer Market is open for three days and the buying window for Orgill’s Spring Online Buying Event will run from Feb. 6-19.
“Our Online Buying Events were a necessity during the pandemic, but we quickly realized that they continue to offer access and efficiencies to our customers,” Stine says. “Our Online Buying Events allow customers who might not be able to make it to the in-person event to take advantage of many of the same deals and promotions they would find at the event—but we also see customers who attend the in-person event utilizing the online options to be even more productive or include additional staff members.”
Whether online or in person, Orgill’s Spring Dealer Market is built around providing retailers with access to the products, programs, services and promotions they need to take their businesses to the next level.
The Market features more than 1,000 vendor booths representing the industry’s biggest brands from across the entire spectrum of categories.
“Our vendors have a reputation for putting their best efforts on display at our Dealer Markets, and we know our customers will not be disappointed with what we have on offer here in New Orleans,” says Jeff Curler, Orgill’s executive vice president of purchasing.
Throughout the show floor, attendees will be able to take advantage of thousands of in-booth product specials, Door Buster promotions, pallet buys, hundreds of planograms and a wide assortment of special pricing exclusively for Orgill customers.
From the Floor
For those who are on hand for the in-person event, there is plenty to see throughout the show, including industry-leading promotional buys, exciting new retail programs, world-class educational sessions and a completely new model store that is the first of its kind.
The model store is an 18,120-square-foot store, inspired by the actual Germantown Hardware store located in Germantown, Tenn.
Located just a few short miles from Orgill’s headquarters, Germantown Hardware was an independently owned and operated retail location that was serviced by Orgill for decades. Nearly three years ago, the owners decided to sell the location to Orgill’s wholly-owned subsidiary Central Network Retail Group (CNRG). Following the acquisition, CNRG implemented a plan to expand, remodel and revamp the store’s offering.
To develop this plan, CNRG enlisted the help of Tyndale Advisors, Orgill’s retail consulting subsidiary. Now, Germantown Hardware serves as a living laboratory to test retail concepts and showcase best practices in areas such as assortment planning, category management and retail merchandising.
“Like all of the CNRG retail brands, Germantown Hardware provides us with a real-world retail operation where we can refine our programs, test concepts and showcase our programs so we can ensure we are providing our customers with real-world insights into how we can help them in their own businesses,” says Phillip Walker, president of Tyndale Advisors.
The model store version of Germantown Hardware features a 16,300-square-foot sales area and an 1,820-square-foot garden center with a layout and branding inspired by the actual remodeled store.
“This is the first time we have had a model store that is such a close representation of a real-world operation,” Walker says. “This is a great way that we can spotlight the leading-edge programs we are featuring at Germantown, but do it in a way that more of our customers can see it.”
Like the actual location, the model store is a traditional hardware store with a covered outdoor garden center. It also features seasonal “flex” areas for popular categories, including outdoor living, grills, wild bird and outdoor power equipment.
In addition, it has a destination paint department and showcases a variety of merchandising techniques for maximizing inventory and highlighting impulse items.
“This isn’t just a representation of what we might be able to offer,” Walker says. “These are actual features that have been implemented in the real store.”
Attendees can also see how Orgill’s FanBuilderⓇ customer loyalty program has been implemented at the front of the store through a fully functional Epicor POS system, browse through Brand Building promotional endcaps and see the custom signage package developed by the team at Tyndale Advisors.
A Real-World Showplace
The Germantown Hardware model store will also provide a showcase for a number of Orgill’s new retail programs.
Orgill’s new Core Assortments will be heavily featured in the model store, according to Chris Freader, Orgill’s senior vice president of retail services.
These Core Assortments are all designed using Assortment Optimization Technology. Attendees can simply scan a QR code attached to the assortment to view the entire planogram on orgill.com. If a dealer likes what they see, they can simply scan the barcode on the header above the planogram with their market scanner to place an order for the entire planogram.
“These assortments represent a tighter, more focused product presentation that we have vetted, tested and optimized,” Freader says.
In addition to these Core Assortments, retailers browsing the model store can also request a Hardware 101 report which served as the basis for building many of the category presentations at Germantown Hardware.
Hardware 101 is an Orgill program that helps retailers ensure they are stocking core products within assortments that consumers recognize as a requirement for their store to be considered a “viable option” in a particular category.
Orgill has developed these Hardware 101 assortment standards across every Orgill product category to ensure that, whatever categories a retailer might offer, Orgill can provide insights into the minimal assortments required.
“Like the actual Germantown Hardware, we wanted the model store built in its image to allow retailers to see all of these retail concepts in action,” Freader says.
Program Evolutions and Highlights
Along with all of the programs on display in the model store, Orgill will also be focusing on the latest evolution to its Smart Start program at the Dealer Market in a 9,300-square-foot dedicated Smart Start area.
Orgill’s Smart Start program is primarily used to help retailers update, upgrade or enhance their inventories while converting to Orgill’s warehouse-backed vendor programs. Smart Starts allow retailers who are converting product lines to swap out their current inventories seamlessly and receive credit to offset some of the cost of conversion.
The new Integrated Smart Starts go beyond the existing program by integrating a variety of vendors into the supported planograms.
“In the past, Smart Starts were based around removing the product from a non-supported vendor and replacing that product with warehouse-backed vendors,” Freader says. “It is very efficient and effective in most categories. The new, Integrated Smart Starts, however, address those categories where a single vendor might not be the right solution. It basically broadens what we can do for a retailer to meet the needs of their customers.”
Another highlighted program evolution attendees can see front and center at the Dealer Market will be Orgill’s expanded selection of impulse items and opportunities.
Not only do impulse items and techniques factor heavily into the merchandising attendees can see in the model store, Orgill is also featuring an 9,700-square-foot Impulse Showcase on the Market floor.
This area will feature a range of impulse items, as well as the merchandising tools to support them, according to Allen Bush, assortment planning specialist with Orgill.
“Impulse plays such an important role for retailers today as they focus on transaction size,” Bush says. “We have a host of products and merchandising tools that can help retailers maximize their salesfloors and ultimately drive transactions by exposing customers to more product.”
The Impulse Showcase features checkout and register queue assortments, wing panels, clipstrips and more. Guests can easily scan the impulse-focused planograms featured within this area to place their orders.
Attendees wanting to browse Orgill’s broad selection of private-label products can do so in the 37,000-square-foot Exclusively Orgill section of the floor.
This area will feature Orgill’s 2023 Christmas Booking Program, the 2023 Patio Warehouse Program and the latest in the Exclusively Orgill lines including updates to the lighting and faucet programs.
Like in other areas, attendees can also scan a QR code to order planograms in the Exclusively Orgill section and take advantage of endcap features and special Door Buster promotional buy opportunities.
At Your Service
While the model store, Smart Starts and Impulse all have dedicated areas on the Market floor to highlight what’s available to retailers, Orgill and its industry partners offer a broad range of additional programs and services to help retailers drive success in their operations.
To bring all of these offerings together in one easy-to-browse place at the Market, Orgill has expanded its Orgill Services area. In New Orleans, the services area measures 38,000 square feet and will be home to representatives who can share insights and information about the retail and business solutions Orgill offers through its own programs and in partnership with other leading organizations.
“The Orgill Services area is where retailers can learn about everything from our Brand Building or FanBuilder programs to options for things like employee training, signage and even credit card processing,” Stine says.
This area will also house the three Learning Center stages where Orgill will host informative educational sessions throughout the show. From panel discussions to insights from industry experts, these sessions provide attendees with the opportunity to network with one another and learn about the latest trends impacting the industry.
Keeping in the spirit of hosting a “hybrid” event, keynote sessions from the Learning Center will be livestreamed so customers not on hand in New Orleans can watch the presentations as they happen. The presentations will also reside on Orgill’s YouTube channel for viewing post-Market.
Making it Easy
With so much going on during the Spring Dealer Market, Orgill is making it easier than ever for attendees to get the most out of the event with the latest version of its Dealer Market App. The app, which can be downloaded through all the major app stores, allows attendees to look up vendors, scan a map of the Market floor, access schedules for educational sessions, take notes and more.
Orgill is also bringing back the popular “O” Zone app that offers functionality to both attendees and vendors. The “O” Zone app allows attendees to scan UPC codes, place orders, browse promotions and search for items all in the palm of their hands.
“We know there is a lot going on, so we want our attendees and our vendors to be able to communicate easily and effectively, and these apps will help facilitate that so the Dealer Market experience is as productive as possible for all parties,” Stine says.