Nationwide Acquires Canadian Group From Sears

By Alan Wolf On May 8 2012 - 4:01am




WINSTON-SALEM N.C. — The Nationwide Marketing Group has purchased Cantrex, a $2 billion Canadian buying organization, from Sears Canada.

No purchase price was disclosed.

Cantrex is comprised of more than 1,200 independent dealers specializing in furniture, major appliances, bedding, CE, photography, floor coverings and home fashions.

The acquistion excludes Corbeil Electrique, Cantrex’s 30-store franchised appliance chain.

Nationwide said it has enjoyed “a long-standing collaborative relationship with the Cantrex team,” and views the deal as “an excellent opportunity to further increase the group’s scale, improve efficiencies and enhance member services.”

“Adding billions of dollars to our buying power with the stroke of a pen is a good thing for our members and another exciting step in Nationwide’s continued growth,” said president of Nationwide president Robert Weisner.

Added Nationwide COO Les Kirk, “Both Nationwide and Cantrex bring assets to the relationship that will be leveraged to benefit the members of both groups. The synergy between these two companies is incredible and we were immediately impressed with their leadership team.”

Kirk said Nationwide expects a “fairly seamless transition.”

Cantrex was created in 1982 by merger, and was purchased in 2005 by Sears Canada, a unit of Sears Holdings, to help develop the chain’s merchandising, buying, and logistics services in the furniture and appliance categories.

Cantrex will continue to share distribution facilities with Sears Canada in Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver, British Columbia and Vaughan, Ontario, Sears said.

In 2006 rival buying group Brand- Source created a new Canadian division through a partnership with Mega Group, a 400-member furniture, appliance and CE buying group for independent Canadian dealers, which acquired BrandSource’s previous north-of-the-border operations. Mega Group is not affiliated with MEGA Group USA, the Tennessee-based buying group.

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