fbp
O’Rourke Sales Company and Nationwide Marketing Group Partner to Solve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Challenges

Written by Amy Croom

April 23, 2020

As more states begin announcing their plans to lift shelter-in-place orders enacted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Nationwide Marketing Group and O’Rourke Sales Company (OSC) have joined together to ensure independent retailers have access to much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE).

Called the O’Rourke Retail PPE Program, the partnership gives Nationwide members the exclusive ability to purchase PPE products through a single, easy, not-for-profit program, helping to protect their customers, store associates, and delivery and install crews as stores begin to reopen.

“Independent retailers are critical to the success of the nation’s economy,” says Derek Mattila, Nationwide’s vice president of business development. “We’ve had a number of requests for PPE from our members, and securing PPE is very challenging right now. The O’Rourke Retail PPE Program allows us to tap into an established network of suppliers to provide our members with the masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other supplies they need to ensure a safe in-store retail experience for customers and employees.”

One of the challenges in sourcing PPE right now, Mattila says, is the large minimum order quantities required for some products – sometimes upwards of 100,000 units per order. This, coupled with inconsistent supply and volatile pricing, is making it challenging to secure supplies.

As one of Nationwide’s longtime distribution partners, O’Rourke already had the processes in place to receive large-scale orders, break down and repackage them into more manageable quantities, and then distribute the products to locations across the United States. This made them an ideal partner for a PPE distribution program, Mattila explains.

For O’Rourke, Nationwide’s request to help arm its members with PPE was an easy one to fulfill. Not only was the company already sourcing equipment and hand sanitizer through its OSC Cares charitable arm to support small businesses, food banks, local hospitals and first responders, but owner and CEO Jeff O’Rourke’s daughter – a nurse – is currently working on a COVID-19 floor at a hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, making the issue extremely personal.

“When the pandemic started, we met as a team and set out some very simple principles to help guide OSC’s decision-making during this challenging time,” says Andrew Terry, president of O’Rourke. “Support our OSC family, help small businesses however possible, and give to local communities and front-line workers. This program accomplishes all three. We are proud to support the thousands of independent retailers who are members of Nationwide Marketing Group and are affected by this crisis as they work to get back to business – safely.”

O’Rourke Sales Company, O’Rourke Sales Company and Nationwide Marketing Group Partner to Solve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Challenges, Nationwide Marketing GroupItems available through the O’Rourke Retail PPE Program include:

  • Reusable KN95 masks
  • Disposable masks
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable gowns
  • Disposable shoe covers
  • Reusable face shields or protective goggles
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Social distancing POP materials

Mattila says that none of the items are hospital- or surgical-grade, such as N95 respirators or surgical masks, and this program should not affect healthcare supply chain efforts.

All items will be available for order through Nationwide’s proprietary eXchange platform and through the O’Rourke sales team.

“We know that everyone is eager to safeguard their customers and employees, so we have hired several additional employees to help support this program and process orders as quickly as possible,” says Jake O’Rourke, vice president of O’Rourke, who is spearheading the project from the company’s corporate headquarters in Davenport, Iowa.

Terry adds, “Initial orders are being placed this week with multiple supply sources, and we look forward to putting equipment in Nationwide members’ hands in early May.”

 

Connect With Us!

More Podcasts

152: An Outdoor Overview with NMG’s John Laing

152: An Outdoor Overview with NMG’s John Laing

PrimeTime in Orlando this past August saw one of the largest and most-impressive Outdoor experiences to date. Nationwide Marketing Group’s Director of Appliances and Outdoor John Laing, who led the charge to bring that space to life, reflects on the experience, details what attendees can expect at PrimeTime in Dallas (March 25-28), and provides other outdoor updates.

151: On the Luxury Appliance Experience with Middleby Residential

151: On the Luxury Appliance Experience with Middleby Residential

As the calendar flipped to 2023, Nationwide Marketing Group formally launched a partnership with Middleby Residential. Home to some of the leading names in the luxury appliance and outdoor categories, Middleby Residential keeps a finger on the pulse of the luxury retail experience.

150: Into the Metaverse with ReadySet

150: Into the Metaverse with ReadySet

Ahead of their appearance in a new Metaverse pavilion at the NRF Big Show, ReadySet dives deep into the world of virtual reality commerce. ReadySet CEO Steve McLean shares an overview of the Metaverse concept and helps independent retailers explore the ins and outs of the next-gen version of e-commerce.