COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — As the Spring Dealer Market and online shopping event draws to a close, Orgill reports that the company’s first-ever hybrid show has surpassed all previous sales records for the company’s shopping market.
Spring 2022 event sales were up 33% from the Spring 2021 online shopping event, according to Orgill, and eclipsed Orgill’s latest in-person dealership market by 47%. held in the spring of 2020.
“Last year’s spring e-shopping event was the biggest sales show we’ve ever had,” said Boyden Moore, president and CEO of Orgill. “To see this first-ever hybrid event outperform this show by such a wide margin is truly a testament to how the concept resonated with our customers, how eager they were to get back to business, how much sales are strong in the market now and how well our suppliers have risen 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 February 21-March 4.
Beyond the record sales figures produced by the events combined, there were a number of other highlights from the shows, which also served as a platform to celebrate Orgill’s 175th anniversary.
“Combined events were a long time coming for our team, vendors and customers,” says Moore. “I think everyone who attended, especially at the show in person, couldn’t help but get swept up in the energy and excitement surrounding the event. While sales are always an important metric for us, we’ve also seen this as a milestone in the evolution of our business in many ways, from our anniversary to the growth of our technology symposium and more.
In addition to the sales records produced at this spring’s events, here are some of the other standout highlights from the show.
Orgill celebrates its 175th anniversary with Universal Studios Celebration
To mark its 175th anniversary and thank its staff, customers and vendor partners for their support over the years, Orgill invited all market participants and their guests to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for a private party on the second night of the Dealer Market.
In total, more than 12,000 people attended the Friday night party, where they filled up the amusement parks, which were reserved exclusively for Orgill customers.
“We wanted to do something really special, not only to mark the occasion, but also to thank our customers and suppliers who have been the foundation of our success as a company,” said Greg Stine, vice- Orgill’s Executive Chairman of Marketing and Communications. “Bringing everyone together at Universal was also an opportunity for us to celebrate the return of the events in person and to do it in a fun way that everyone could enjoy.”
For Jackie Sacks of Round Top Mercantile in Texas, the night out at Universal was the perfect way to celebrate with her family and staff after a long day in the market. Sacks, who attended the Universal event with her husband, two daughters and company officials, said 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 the big kids and the little kids and it was very much enjoyed. It was just fun for everyone in our group.
During the celebration at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, Orgill also provided attendees with food and beverages including the two special 175th anniversary beers that were produced especially for the 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 honored two of Orgill’s influential executives, Joe Orgill and Mike McDonnell.
“We thought it was a fun way to celebrate our anniversary, but also to recognize some of the recent leaders who have been so instrumental in influencing and directing the success of this company,” Moore said.
E-commerce and technological evolution
The Spring Dealer Market also marked an evolution in Orgill’s role as an industry leader in helping independent home improvement retailers succeed in their retail technology efforts. The Wednesday before the start of the Spring Dealer Market, Orgill hosted representatives from approximately 100 different retail operations at its annual technology symposium.
Orgill has been organizing these symposia for 5 years. Initially, the gatherings were focused on e-commerce, but have now expanded to include all retail technologies, including e-commerce, in-store technologies, mobile apps, point-of-sale systems, loss prevention, analytics and more.
According to Grant Morrow, Orgill’s program director for retail and e-commerce, the latest iteration of the event is a clear testament to how far the concept has come since its inception.
“When we first started hosting these events, it was a handful of companies that were early adopters of e-commerce and wanted to come together to find out how Orgill, along with our industry partners like Unilog and Epicor, could work with them to help launch and sustain an e-commerce presence,” says Morrow. “Now we have hundreds of businesses participating and it has grown from a small gathering of retailers to a large-scale event.”
This year’s symposium included a number of speakers discussing the growth of e-commerce, the role technology plays in today’s retail operations, and updates on Orgill’s technology offerings.
The event included a keynote speech from North American Hardware and Paint Association COO Dan Tratensek, in which he explained why independent retailers shouldn’t just compete online, but aim to win.
Will Aubuchon, President and CEO of The Aubuchon Company, also shared how his company uses technology 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 explained how the Central Network Retail Group (CNRG) continues to serve as a retail lab to implement and test retail technologies with the goal of refining concepts and rolling them out across Orgill’s customers.
“It was really impressive to see how this event grew from somewhat humble beginnings,” Morrow said. “Not only did we have a large crowd, but it was the first time we were live streaming the event so we could get this important information out to a wider audience than ever before. It was a major new chapter for this event and highlights how important the subject of technology and e-commerce is for today’s retailers.
To share the content that took place during the Symposium, Orgill developed a dedicated YouTube playlist.