By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Dallas – The mood was buoyant at Mega Group USA’s annual spring convention, which wrapped up here last week at the Gaylord Texan.
Rick Bellows, president of the 1,600-member buying group for furniture, CE, majap and mattress dealers, described an upbeat crowd at the three-day event.
“We had great attendance and dealers were buying,” he noted. “We had record orders taken … indicating attitudes are good and there is a comfort level for the months to come.”
Highlights of the conference included the opening “Mega Madness” special buys event, where vendors were challenged to provide exceptional deals to members. The one-hour sale “exceeded our wildest expectations,” observed Mega appliance director Missy Hodges. “We wrote more business in one hour than in one day at our previous show. The vendors came to the party with great offers that were only available to attendees, a huge success.”
The theme of this year’s convention, “Traffic, Margin, Execute,” was underscored by keynote speaker Sam Geist, president of Geist & Associates and author of “Execute Or Be Executed,” who urged attendees to develop strategies and execute them to completion.
Other speakers included Forrester Research’s Sucharita Mulpuru and consumer behavior expert Dr. Roger Blackwell, who discussed on-line marketing, technology, and e-commerce opportunities – three initiatives that Mega has addressed through its WebFronts e-tail program, said the group’s IT director Scott McFarland.
In addition, advertising director Jim Sendrak laid out Mega’s plans for a comprehensive circular campaign that will include personal URLs, a complete point-of-purchase kit for showrooms, and web banner ads featuring consumer offers for participating dealers.
Elsewhere, business services director Mallory Parker introduced a comprehensive instructional video package on retail selling skills, available to all members, which consists of 22 modules on selling, management and leadership, plus a workbook guide and online certification.
Other show highlights included the launch of an exclusive Serta mattress collection and a new upholstery/motion furniture program. The two introductions “offer great value, margin and sales opportunities for our members and will drive traffic to the stores,” said Mega furniture director Jerry Honea.
Dealers also attended various workshops and educational seminars, the group said.
Mega’s next national convention is slated for Aug. 18-21 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
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.