By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Nationwide Marketing Group is predicting that, despite the down economy, its summer PrimeTime! buying show will beat last year's attendance numbers.
The three-day vendor exhibition will officially begin on Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
While not providing projected numbers of members and vendors who have registered for the show, Nationwide said it is also expecting a record number of vendors who will be exhibiting on a 250,000-square-foot PrimeTime! showroom floor.
Vendors include brand-name appliance, electronics and furniture manufacturers who will be showcasing merchandise from their newly launched product lines, the group said.
"Our vendor partners see PrimeTime! as an excellent opportunity for them to effectively reach out to a viable independent retail market representing 8,000 storefronts across the country," said Rober Weisner, executive VP of the Nationwide Marketing Group, in a prepared statement.
During the show Nationwide will offer members tools for running their businesses, and special programs like CashBack and "deeper discounts and more aggressive pricing on purchases made exclusively at PrimeTime!," the group said.
Scheduled to kick off the three-day event on Aug. 17 was a keynote address by broadcast journalist Roy Firestone, who was expected to share highlights of his myriad interviews with noted personalities from sports, politics and entertainment.
"We are excited to have Roy Firestone kick off PrimeTime! in Vegas," said Ed Kelly, president of the $11 billion marketing and buying organization for independent dealers. "His ability to inspire the crowd and his exceptional vocal talents are sure to entertain and motivate all who attend."
In other Nationwide news, the marketing organization has signed a long-term contract with Warrantech Consumer Product Services to market a private-label warranty program to the group's 2,800 members.
"Nationwide Marketing Group member dealers require a different level of attention and service than the larger national chains," president Ed Kelly said in a statement. "NMG develops direct relationships with premier vendors such as Warrantech so our members can provide better service at lower costs, putting them in a position to effectively compete in the markets they serve. Our decision to partner with Warrantech is a reflection of the numerous programs the company offers and the high level of service Warrantech gives to their clients."
In a statement, Warrantech Corp. chairman/CEO Joel San Antonio said, "We are honored that NMG chose Warrantech's warranty program over so many other competitors … This contract gives Warrantech the opportunity to work with many of NMG dealers to maximize their warranty profit. We are extremely excited about this opportunity."
San Antonio noted that Warrantech is in the process of developing new warranty products tailored specifically to meet the needs of NMG's retailer base.
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