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Buying Groups Prep For Winter Shows

NEW YORK — The industry’s two largest buying organizations, BrandSource and Nationwide Marketing Group, are gearing up for their respective meetings and buy fairs in February and March.

BrandSource will return to the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 17-20 for its second consecutive Winter Summit at the venue. There, the group plans to showcase its Expert Tech suite of wireless, cloudbased business management solutions. The program, dubbed Expert Tech, was first introduced last August as a central communications system that will let dealers wirelessly check accounts payable and receivable, manage sales and transactions, and monitor their inventory, among other functions.

Ten dealers have since been beta testing the system, which has been enhanced with additional capabilities and is now ready for a full rollout with up to 2,000 dealers, BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence relayed to TWICE.

“This incredibly fast and efficient service takes IT completely out of the store and puts it into your mobile device,” Lawrence said in a statement. “Members can check inventory, finances and more, and spend their valuable time doing what they do best — selling products and services to their customers.”

Also at the show BrandSource will unveil new homefurnishing collections, offer opportunistic buys at its popular Stampede event, and host a charity golf tournament benefitting the organization’s scholarship fund.

In home furnishings, the group will introduce a complete collection by Klaussner, one of the country’s largest manufacturers of value-priced quality furniture. BrandSource will also showcase its new Majestic Sleep and Majestic Crowne mattress collections, part of Serta’s Perfect Sleeper line, and will show a new line of kitchen islands from Chris & Chris, manufacturers of commercial-quality, durable work surfaces.

For more information on BrandSource’s Winter Summit, visit

Meanwhile, the Nationwide Marketing Group is preparing for what is expected to be the organization’s largest PrimeTime! gathering ever. The event, slated for March 3-6 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, will feature concurrent conclaves by its $2 billion Cantrex Canadian division and its NECO confederation of Northeastern dealers for the first time.

The theme of the show is “Solutions. Blueprint For Success,” which underscores the array of tools and services Nationwide will present to help its members increase profitability and improve their marketing, management, work culture and web presence.

The latter is the focus of a dedicated department led by member services operations VP Frank Sandtner, which tests each initiative to ensure the functionality and capabilities fulfill the needs of each member’s plan, and serves as the primary contacts across all twelve web service platforms to see the integration process through.

“We are not here to provide our members with a list of vendor phone numbers,” said Sandtner. “Rather, we have a team of experts in-house that know the ins and outs of every single product we offer. This allows our members to have a much easier adoption of the latest tools, an attribute that sets us apart in this industry.”

Nationwide will also emphasize its “draw, escape, sell” merchandising model (DES), a variation on the traditional three-step sales approach, which provides a promotional item to draw traffic and two step-up SKUs that offer increasingly higher margins.

First introduced last summer, the DES strategy limits each vendor to 30 SKUs, which allows manufacturers and dealers to consolidate their merchandising and marketing activity around core models, while increasing operational and sales floor efficiencies.

For more information on the show, visit Nationwide