Germantown, Tenn. – MEGA Group USA, the home-goods buying group,
reports record attendance and vendor written orders at its biannual National
Convention last month in Louisville, Ky.
Attendance passed the 1,500 mark, a 15 percent increase over MEGA’s
spring show, and vendors reported spikes in written orders in excess of 30
percent, the group said.
The 2,500-storefront furniture, majap and CE show drew more than
70 vendors, including Whirlpool, GE, Marcone Supply, Bosch and Electrolux, and
featured the largest contingent of electronics exhibitors in several years,
Members appeared optimistic, the group reported, despite the
rough retail sales environment.
“All the dealers seem very positive and upbeat this year,” said
electronics division manager Jim Sendrak.
“Business is certainly tough, but dealers know that business is out
there for those that aggressively go after it.”
To help dealers compete effectively within their markets, MEGA
introduced new and expanded advertising programs, including new TV spots to
compliment the group’s print inserts, and “green screen” technology that
allowed dealers to shoot customized inserts for the commercials at the show.
Other highlights included a state-of the-industry update by GE
Appliances’ Dave Bilas, who stressed the importance of promoting during key
selling times and holidays. Added MEGA president Rick Bellows, “There is no doubt that consumers are responding
to aggressive pricing and value-driven propositions. Dealers need to take
advantage of the major holidays such as Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas
to push these points and drive traffic during these periods. Consumers
are shopping then, so our members need to be heavily promoting then.”
The convention, held at the Marriot Downtown in Louisville, also
featured a service workshop led by USA Services Association’s Paul MacDonald
and a full slate of seminars including:
“Total HD Experience” training by Almo’s Jack
“In-depth Advertising and Marketing” training,
including Internet, social-networking and search engine optimization training;
insights into Toshiba technology presented by DSI’s Greg Hughes; and
“Consumer Finance = Profitable Sales,” presented
by GE Money’s Diane Hortman.
In addition, keynote speaker and retail consultant Bob Negen of
WhizBang Marketing shared proven business practices, marketing tips and sales-force
training methods based on his experience as founder of the Mackinaw Kite Co., a
small chain of specialty kite stores he launched at the age of 23.
MEGA also paid out more than $1 million in “Fast Cash” during the
show, which maximizes buying opportunities by putting additional margin back
into dealers’ businesses, the group said.
“Our mission is simple,” said
Bellows. “We do what is best for our dealers, period. We succeed only if they
succeed first. The convention is just one of the many things that we do to help
them, and we look forward to continuing it year after year.”
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