By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Mega Group USA reported record turnout and sales at its annual fall conference, held here last month.
The 1,600-member buying group for independent furniture, CE, majap and mattress dealers said attendance was up 35 percent over last year’s all-time high, and that record sales were also transacted in all categories during the two-day buy fair.
Mega Group president Rick Bellows described the turnout as “overwhelming” and dealer temperament as “very optimistic.”
Highlights of the show, held at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, included the addition of 20 new vendors and a Samsung Galaxy tablet giveaway for all attending members.
The tablets, provided in concert with Samsung Appliances, were complemented by workshops that showed dealers how associates could use the devices to access product pricing, specs and rebates on the fly to help combat showrooming on the sales floor.
“We’re helping our dealers embrace technology in their stores and ultimately meet their customers’ expectations of retail for the future,” said Mega’s IT director Scott McFarland.
Other educational sessions focused on social media, using the web to increase conversions, and merchandising competitively against big-box stores. In addition, Rick Bellows hosted a vendor panel featuring Whirlpool retail sales general manager Tom Arent, Serta sales VP Bill West, and Shoemaker Financial president/CEO James Shoemaker.
The conference kicked off with a Mega Madness pre-show event that featured special buys from more than 40 suppliers.
Mega’s 1,600 dealers operate more than 3,000 storefronts across the U.S. Group services include vendor programs, custom advertising and marketing, health and business insurance, consulting, store merchandising, and IT support to help drive floor traffic, improve sales and profits, and enhance operating efficiencies.
The group will next convene March 21-24 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center in Dallas.
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.