By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CORRECTED Waldwick, N.J. — Former MARTA executive director Warren Mann reports that he is making progress on plans to form a new buying organization for independent white- and brown-goods dealers.
The new entity, World Merchants Buying Group, is designed to serve established independents that wish to benefit from the negotiating power and merchandising acumen of a buying group, but don't require the advertising, health insurance, training programs and other group services that add cost to orders and membership fees.
Members will be involved in merchandising decisions, handle their own inventory and could pay their own bills to reduce group overhead, Mann said. Conversely, World Merchants will provide centralized buying and, if desired, central billing, and will represent dealers through direct contact with vendors.
Mann, who previously held executive positions at NATM and Sansui, said he's already held discussions with interested dealers and vendors, and will step up his recruitment efforts following this month's spate of buying group shows. His initial membership goal is 15 “good-sized” dealers and upwards of 40 smaller businesses culled from urban markets. The latter would be served through combined truckloads stored at public warehouses, giving vendors a single point for billing and regional distribution.
“I want a limited group with dealers who run a good shop, don't need all the extra services and can provide a narrower focus,” Mann said. This, he said, will allow for better forecasting and planning, more individual attention and greater efficiency.
Membership for charter members is $400 per month plus a one-time initiation fee of $1,000. Mann said he is asking vendors for parity program support plus 1 percent group incentive, and plans quarterly rebates for members.
For more information, contact Mann at (201) 612-1541, firstname.lastname@example.org or fax him at (800) 517-1770.
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