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BrandSource Proffers High-Margin Alternatives

LAS VEGAS — BrandSource executives encouraged members to consider a range of alternative categories at the group’s fall buying expo to help supplement flagging CE margins.

The home-themed products, which range from mattress pads to water softeners, are consistent with members’ core businesses and provide additional sales and margin opportunities, noted CEO Bob Lawrence.

“The idea is not to decrease your existing business but to enhance it with additional categories that make sense within the categories you already sell,” he wrote in a member note.

In a presentation, BrandSource digital communications VP Bob Donaldson provided attendees with a checklist of new product ideas to help generate traffic, including vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, knife sets, rugs, jewelry, electric fireplaces and leather recliners. “Find something new to drive customers into your store,” he said.

Many of the categories were represented within the group’s “Stampede” offering of special show buys, including PureWash’s water treatment system that replaces laundry detergents; Sunheat’s Thermal Wave infrared room heater with all-wood cabinet; an EdenPure HEPA air filter; and a combination media console and electric LED fireplace with walnut finish from Sterling.

In addition, the outdoor category, described by Lawrence as “one of the greatest opportunities we’ve ever seen,” was well represented with a host of high-end specialty grills available through the group’s OutdoorSource division. As majap executive VP John White noted, outdoor products comprise one-third of the annual $150 billion in home spending, and outdoor accessories, with their 60 to 70 points of margin, is a larger business than any other adjunct category.