BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence said the formal merger of the Alliance partners was gradually phased-in over the last two years. He said the combined ProSource platform will end any vendor confusion over the PRO and HES relationship, and will provide consumers and manufacturers with a way to experience and showcase better products amid an environment beset by tier-3 price cutting.
Lawrence added that Workman and Ristow are currently working with vendors to transition core programs. "It's a huge change for manufacturers," he said.
In a statement, Workman noted that "The goal is to bring members from both organizations together to create the best and most influential merchandising group in the industry for the independent retailer."
"The goal is to bring members from both organizations together to create the best and most influential merchandising group in the industry for the independent retailer," said Workman.
Added Ristow: "This merger allows us to compete in compelling new ways by offering customers expert knowledge, the best vendors and the latest advances in CE solutions and technology. Key manufacturers will have a tremendous opportunity to optimize their positions in our storefronts as our members offer customized recommendations and hands-on demonstrations to the consumer."
The merger continues the trend of buying group consolidation, as smaller independent organizations such as BrandSource's Resource Plus division (formerly MARTA), and Nationwide Marketing Group's NECO Alliance chapter, align themselves with larger groups to counter big-box expansion and changing channel strategies.
The new ProSource organization formally debuted Wednesday, Jan. 5, at PRO Group's annual CES-eve cocktail reception at Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas.