By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Anaheim, Calif. – BrandSource, which will hold its annual convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas next week, will unveil a Cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution, as well as unveil a new category for its members.
Bob Lawrence, CEO of BrandSource, told TWICE that the buying group will officially roll out a Cloud-based POS solution that will begin Jan. 1 and “will be fully integrated, provide full inventory costs, show what is in the member’s live inventory, what [BrandSource] has in inventory and what key suppliers have available. It provides instant rebate traffic information.”
He added, “We will be able to provide live feeds [to vendors and members] on what is being sold through at retail. It is completely transparent.”
Lawrence said POS has been “the Achilles’ heel of independent retailing,” and that this solution should provide suppliers with greater detail than ever before on how the group is selling individual SKUs and categories, just like a national chain.
For members there will no longer be “hardware or software problems, with servers going down, etc. This is an inexpensive startup solution to their problems.”
He said this “fully integrated IT solution” just needs a screen, keyboard and connection to the Internet. The solution’s development “is tied to the [BrandSource] app” introduced last year.
There is a “relatively low upfront fee per screen,” covering licensing and development, Lawrence said, plus a monthly maintenance fee. The solution will be demonstrated to members during the group’s general meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Las Vegas.
BrandSource will also introduce a new category, a complete “outdoor solution” for any products — furniture, fire pits, lawn mowers and others — that involve the outdoors, Lawrence said.
He noted that the reason is because “the name of the game for us, and stores like Best Buy and others, is footprints in the store. We are looking for unique products to get customers in the store,” and the group thinks outdoor products will be a winner.
Lawrence added that Galaxy Outdoors line of fire pits, outdoor kitchens and related products were “the hit of the [February] show [in Orlando],” so BrandSource added such lines as Napoleon, Sun Heat, Lynx, Pacific Living and others to provide a full “outdoor line” for members, which will debut at the show next week.
Separately, BrandSource announced today that it is working with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to provide rooms within the walls of Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room programs to provide a much-needed respite to combat parental anxiety, depression and stress, which studies show is prevalent shortly after a child's admission to the hospital.
As an official RMHC donor, BrandSource, in association with its key suppliers, Whirlpool and Maytag, provides appliances and home electronics to Ronald McDonald Houses and Family Rooms across the U.S. and Canada. Since 2004, the company has donated nearly $5 million in cash and in kind products and volunteered more than thousands of hours in response to the tremendous need of families staying at the Houses.
With BrandSource's support, Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms turn into special places for families where they can find the support, encouragement and comfort needed to cope with the uncertainty of their situation. These environments, and other non-clinical activities provided by volunteers and staff, nurture families and offer a sense of normalcy which helps them better support their ill child through the healing process.
In 2011, BrandSource was honored as the recipient of the RMHC Stewardship Award, which recognizes companies that have gone above and beyond in helping the charity fulfill its mission of directly improving the health and well being of children.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.