Nationwide Points Dealers Toward High-Profit Categories

By Alan Wolf On Mar 12 2012 - 4:01am




ORLANDO, FLA. – Ancillary categories like lighting control, gaming, digital imaging and telecommunications can provide new profit opportunities for TV and appliance dealers, Nationwide Marketing Group executives said.

Speaking to attendees at the organization’s PrimeTime! buying show and member conference here last month at the Gaylord Palms Resort, Jeannette Howe, executive director of the group’s Specialty Electronics Nationwide (SEN) division, said high-profit categories like lighting control are no longer exclusive to integrators and custom installers.

“The lighting category can be highly profitable and is not challenging to implement,” said Howe. “We need to embrace retrofit technologies. Companies like PCS [Powerline Control Systems] are perfect for any appliance, electronics or furniture dealer who is looking to begin offering custom installation services.”

PCS’s lighting control system utilizes the existing wiring in the home. Developed for use in residential and light commercial applications, the system is reliable and easy to install, making it ideal for both retrofit and new construction, the company said.

“Lighting is not just for high-tech media rooms,” noted Howe. “Every area in the home can now be illuminated, so to speak, with properly installed and creatively placed lighting. [It’s] definitely an area all dealers should consider.”

The point was further pressed during a PrimeTime! seminar on lighting control hosted by PCS sales and marketing director Scott Klodowski and Martin Custer, president/CEO of home automation distributor Automated Outlet.

Nationwide electronics VP Doug Schatz similarly exhorted the group’s core membership to “inject profitability” into their businesses with new opportunities through an expanded program with D&H Distributing. New offerings include products from Xtreme Technology, which makes cellular gateways and bluetooth docking stations, and a lead-generation program from FrontPoint & Guardian, which offers security and monitoring systems.

Schatz also encouraged dealers to take advantage of show specials and “Cash- Back Now” offers in the high-traffic areas of tablets, computers, gaming and digital imaging, the breadth of which reflects Nationwide’s focus on category diversification, he said.

Even margin-stressed legacy categories like flat-panel TV can still contribute to the bottom line, thanks to new vendor pricing policies and consumer demand for oversized panels. “Go big or go home,” Schatz told attendees. “Revenue growth will be in 50-inch and above and must be a focus area. This works to our advantage as independent retailers, because customers prefer to buy these larger, higher-ticket products from a store with a knowledgeable sales staff where they can really learn and understand a product’s features and benefits.”

Dealers were also presented with opportunities in high-margin bedding, entertainment centers and home theater seating during the show’s concurrent Furniture Summit, directed by Nationwide Furniture VP Bill Bazemore.

Nationwide further promoted supplemental business lines with a booklet of 48 “great ideas” and its new Opportunities Expo, which provided continuous product presentations on the show floor.

“We are very excited to present this new forum that will include 10-minute interactive demonstrations on the most innovative products and services at the show,” said Nationwide executive VP Dave Bilas. “The Opportunities Expo, along with our ‘48 Great Ideas’ booklet and giveaway, will energize the atmosphere on the show floor and heighten the exchange of ideas and interaction between our members, vendor partners and service providers.”

Bilas said the Great Ideas program was first introduced at last August’s Prime- Time! event in Dallas, and was brought back due to popular demand. “The booklet is filled with profitable takeaways that dealers can implement into their businesses as soon as they get back from the show,” he said.

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