The Essential Hardware Group hosted a highly successful 2021 Golf Day at Glen Vista country club in October. This exciting event happened after many other creative activities that the company has undertaken during the year.
CEO Norman Jackson and his team decided that ‘Covid was not going to define us’ and has taken the bull by the horns over the last 18 months with the attitude of finding a way to get things done, rather than accepting the notion that things cannot be done.
“Being a pro-active company, we have managed to streamline everything and are able to make instant decisions in an environment where long-term planning is not a possibility,” said Jackson.
Leading up to the golf day the Essential Hardware Group have creatively manoeuvred around the threat of Covid by putting in place these measures:
Bringing its training online in its reconstructed website where short and sweet training videos are available for merchandising, sales training (incorporating pricing, interpersonal skills, conflict resolutions, rounding down etc). Retailers can train anytime, any day and will still receive their certificate of accomplishment. This ensures that the retail staff are upskilled at a time that suits them. The reality of live training is that there is never a time that suits everyone, staff are constantly being poached and new employees need to be trained up. The introduction of online training negates these problems.
Generic category training is constantly being updated online where retailers can access useful and educational information within a product category, for example, in the paint category there is training on preparation, application, problem-solving, waterproofing solutions and more. This training is also available in a product-specific format where the manufacturers offer training on their specific products.
Hosting a virtual trade day proved a very successful intervention. Suppliers had ‘trade show only’ specials and were given the opportunity to showcase these and their product ranges virtually to all retailers. The positive feedback from this intervention might mean the future introduction of a hybrid between a virtual and in-person trade day going forward.
Perfecting and rolling out its eCommerce offering, which offers members access to an innovative online trading platform. As the world embraces digital retail, this is an integral and exciting offering that ensures member stores can expand their ranges and product offerings, without needing to increase their physical infrastructure. This powerful enabler encourages members to face the competition of the highest standard and succeed in the digital space.
After the successful launches of the online/ virtual events, it was decided that an outdoor Golf Day would be an event that was doable under level 1 lockdown regulations. With full house attendance, suppliers came to the party by sponsoring holes and the day was a sell-out with suppliers and retailers alike loving the return to a semblance of ‘normality’ and the opportunity to catch up face to face.