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Buying Groups Launch Enhancements

Des Plaines, Ill. – Four of the
nation’s leading buying groups have announced new programs, improvements and

Among those reporting enhancements
is the

Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group)

, which has
revamped and relaunched its Web site. The redesigned site, located at

, serves as a comprehensive
portal for member dealers and vendors, as well as the public. The interactive
site provides information about the group and its members, board, vendors, affiliations
and schedule of events, and features separate pages for each.



created a national sweepstakes offering consumers a chance to win a 2011 Ford
Fiesta, laundry pairs from Whirlpool and Mitsubishi TVs. The promotion is one
of several national marketing initiatives AVB will launch this year to expose
the BrandSource name to consumers and drive additional traffic to its
e-commerce Web site and retail stores.

The sweepstakes is named “Win With
Force,” after the John Force NHRA drag race team BrandSource has sponsored
since 2006. This year’s program builds on past successes, AVB said, and adds
prizes from other NHRA sponsors, including Castrol, Ford, Mac Tools, AAA Auto
Club of Southern California and vacation packages from Pleasant Holidays.

The sweepstakes is open to fans
attending NHRA events this season. Entry boxes are also being sent to all
BrandSource dealers, and consumers can also enter online at


BrandSource will additionally hold a
monthly drawing on select Energy Star appliances and flat-panel TVs via the
recently redesigned Web site.

“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve
come in just a few seasons in terms of interacting with the race fans,” said BrandSource
CEO Bob Lawrence. “At our first promotional event in 2006 we gave away one
large-screen TV. With all of the team partners involved, fans can now win over
$100,000 worth of prizes through the ‘Win With Force’ promotion this season.”


Home Technology
Specialists of America (HTSA)

, the $500 million buying group for system
integrators, has added Dana Innovations as a vendor partner.

The San Clemente, Calif.-based audio
company, parent of






said the new partnership will expand its efforts “to align with the top
customers in every market,” while providing HTSA members with a strategy to
grow their businesses through “design-community outreach and innovative
solutions that add dollars to the bottom line.”

 “We are thrilled to partner
with HTSA as they are ideally positioned to leverage our design community
outreach efforts and participate in bringing exciting solutions from Sonance, Trufig
and iPort to the specification market and to design conscious consumers,” said Dana
Innovations CEO Ari Supran. 

“Successful companies are made up of
three key ingredients – great people, programs and products,” added Richard
Gilkes, executive director of the HTSA. “Sonance is now a vendor partner of
HTSA because they are exceptional in all these areas, and at the end of the day
success is made easier by having the best products. The styling, functionality
and margin of the products fit perfectly with our members’ product mix and
position in the marketplace.”

In other buying group news, The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized

Nationwide Marketing
Group (NMG)

with a 2010 Excellence in Appliance Retailing Award for its
outstanding contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by marketing and
promoting energy efficient products.

NMG will be recognized at an awards
ceremony in Washington D.C. on March 18 for successfully increasing sales and
messaging of Energy Star-qualified products, engaging in Energy Star
promotional opportunities, educating customers about the benefits of energy
efficiency, and participating in various Energy Star campaigns.

The $12 billion buying group for independent
appliance, electronics and furniture dealers has been an Energy Star partner
since the program’s inception.

“Nationwide Marketing
Group and Energy Star have a mission-critical partnership,” said Richard
Weinberg, the buying group’s appliance merchandising VP. “More and more of our
customers are looking for innovative Energy Star-qualified products that save
money and protect the environment. By offering products that have earned the Energy
Star, we are working to fulfill our customers’ needs while helping address
climate change.”