COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. – Now that both Orgill’s Spring Dealer Market and Online Buying Event have drawn to a close, numbers indicate that this first-ever hybrid show surpassed all of the company’s previous buying market sales records.
Orgill reported that sales from the Spring 2022 events were up 33 percent from the 2021 Spring Online Buying Event and eclipsed Orgill’s last in-person Dealer Market held in Spring 2020 by a full 47 percent.
“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.”
Orgill’s in-person Spring Dealer Market was held February 24-26 in Orlando, Florida, and its Spring Online Buying Market ran from February 21-March 4.
Beyond the record-setting sales numbers produced by the combined events, there were a number of other highlights from the shows, which also served as a platform for celebrating Orgill’s 175th anniversary.
“The combined events were a long time coming for our team, our vendors and our customers,” Moore says. “I think anyone who participated, particularly at the in-person show, couldn’t help but get caught up in the energy and enthusiasm surrounding the event. While sales are always an important measuring stick for us, we also saw this as a great milestone in our company’s evolution in a number of ways, from our anniversary to the growth of our Technology Symposium and more.”
In addition to the sales records produced during this Spring’s events, following are some of the other milestone highlights from the show.
Orgill Marks 175th Anniversary With Universal Studios Celebration
To mark its 175th anniversary and thank its staff, customers and vendor partners for their support throughout the years, Orgill invited all Market attendees and their guests to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for a private party on the second night of the Dealer Market.
In all, more than 12,000 people attended the Friday-night party, where they had full-run of the amusement parks, which were reserved exclusively for Orgill guests.
“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.”
For Jackie Sacks of Round Top Mercantile in Texas, the evening at Universal was the perfect way to celebrate with her family and staff after a long day on the Market floor. Sacks, who attended the Universal event with her husband, two daughters and managers from her business, says it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“I don’t know what else to say other than it was awesome,” she says. “It was a treat for both the big kids and the little kids and it was much appreciated. It was just fun for everyone in our group.”
During the celebration at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, Orgill also treated attendees to food and drinks that included both of the special 175th anniversary beers that were produced just for this occasion.
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 thought this was a fun way to celebrate our anniversary but to also recognize some of the recent leaders who played such a major role in influencing and directing the success of this company,” Moore says.
eCommerce & Technology Evolution
The Spring Dealer Market also marked an important evolution in Orgill’s role as an industry leader in helping independent home improvement retailers find success with their retail technology efforts. 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.
Orgill has been hosting these Symposiums for the past 5 years. Initially the gatherings were focused on eCommerce but have now expanded to include all retail technologies, including eCommerce, 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 eCommerce 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 eCommerce 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 eCommerce, the role technology is playing in today’s retail operations and updates on Orgill’s technology offerings.
The event included a keynote address from North American Hardware and Paint Association chief operating officer Dan Tratensek, where he discussed why independent retailers should not be content to just compete online but should set their sights on winning.
Will Aubuchon, president and CEO of The Aubuchon Company also shared how his company was utilizing tech solutions throughout the operation to improve service, make employees more productive and drive profits.
Other speakers included Morrow who moderated a panel discussion with members of Orgill’s retail technology team; and John Sieggreen, Orgill’s executive vice president of retail.
Sieggreen discussed how the Central Network Retail Group (CNRG) continues to serve as a working retail laboratory to implement and test retail technologies in an effort to refine concepts and roll them out to Orgill’s entire customer base.
“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 eCommerce 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.
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Orgill, the industry’s fastest-growing hardlines distributor, was founded in 1847 and is headquartered in Collierville, Tennessee. Orgill serves more than 12,000 retail hardware stores, home centers, professional lumber dealers and farm stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in over 50 countries around the world. More information can be found at www.orgill.com.