Big Rock Dealer Shows Give Dealers a “Competitive Advantage”
Dealer Spotlight: Tom Reynolds
Sunshine Ace Hardware, Inc.
Bonita Springs, Florida
We sat down with Tom Reynolds, Purchasing Coordinator for Sunshine Ace Hardware in Bonita Springs, Florida, and asked him what Big Rock Sports Dealer Shows have to offer his company.
BR: What did you think of this year’s Southeast Show?
Reynolds: It’s greatly expanded and very impressive. The layout is the best ever. And what can you say about the Marriott? Wow…very impressive. It looks like all of the vendors put a lot of effort into their booths. I like what I’ve seen so far.
BR: What kind of value does coming to the Southeast Show bring to your business?
Reynolds: The most competitive advantage for anybody in Florida, since most of our seasons kick off earlier than the rest of the U.S., is being able to hit this show. By being able to make purchases now, you can set up your program basically geared toward wintertime visitors. It allows us to show the most current merchandise to people who are down here for Christmas vacations and getaways before our Northern brother tackle shops are even open yet. It allows us to get a jump on new products.
BR: What have you found at the Big Rock Dealer Shows in terms of buying opportunities?
Reynolds: The best deal going is the whole Hot Profit experience. If dealers aren’t going to that, they’re really missing the boat on promotional opportunities. I’ve never seen the prices on the items at Hot Profit ever lower. It’s usually the best price that you’ll ever see. In terms of promotions, and what it allows the independent dealer to do, you’re just not going to beat it.
In addition to that kind of opportunity, you’ve got lots of attendance specials for people to take advantage of. You’ve got the overall general show terms that you get from Big Rock. If somebody carefully manages their purchases, it’s a very valuable and profitable experience. For a single location independent dealer where they may not have the volume to get the best pricing on something, you’re not going to beat the opportunities here. Just not going to beat it.
BR: What advice would you give to first-time attendees?
Reynolds: Come prepared. Have a pretty good idea in your mind of what your bestsellers are. Come to the show knowing what areas you would like to make changes in. At a Big Rock Show, the more prepared you are, the more you’ll get out of it.
BR: Are Big Rock Shows just about the deals you can get or are there other reasons to attend?
Reynolds: It’s invaluable to me just in terms of setting up programs. I get a lot out of the Big Rock Shows even without purchasing: just new ideas, new directions to go in, getting a feel for what other dealers are doing. It’s invaluable being able to share that experience with people.
The highlight of the show for me and the way that we’ve kind of evolved doing business, I call it prospecting. Looking for ways to tweak programs, perhaps new directions to go in, things like that that would help our business overall. I think that just seeing the new products and getting new ideas either from other dealers or the vendors that are here. That’s the high point for me.
My job basically is to buy stuff and sell it, not make value judgments about it. So any kind of information that I get from another dealer about what’s working and what’s not working for them is valuable. That right there is worth the trip for a lot of dealers and particularly if they’re not part of a large network of stores.
BR: What were your impressions of the ACCESS Ecommerce demonstration at the Dealer ACCESSS booth?
Reynolds: It doesn’t take that long really and that short investment of time at the show could give a whole new dimension to your business. ACCESS Ecommerce gives you a whole new dimension that on your own it would be cost prohibitive to do it.
BR: Now that you’ve experienced a one-on-one ACCESS Ecommerce demonstration, what do you think?
Reynolds: The flexibility of that ACCESS system, the templates that I’ve seen so far, the ability to select the level that you want to participate in: pretty impressive. Pretty impressive. And more so because it doesn’t require a lot of technical computer expertise. It makes it very accessible to an individual. Again, for the independent dealer who doesn’t have a large staff, who doesn’t have a lot of time, for the business person who has to wear a lot of hats—a perfect solution. A really perfect solution.
BR: What would you tell other dealers who may be interested in creating an online storefront through ACCESS Ecommerce?
Reynolds: You may be scared. You may be intimidated. You may not think that you have the time. But any independent dealer needs to develop an online presence and if somebody can make that easy and cost-effective, why not take advantage of it?