Las Vegas - Nationwide Marketing Group served up a rich platter of margin-building opportunities for independent dealers at its biannual PrimeTime! show here earlier this week.
Profit drivers presented to the 900 retail businesses on hand at the Venetian/Sands/Palazzo hotel and convention complex included a full roster of tablet computers and accessories; a line of elderly-friendly electronics called Senior Circuits; a movie, calibration disc and HDMI cable bundle arranged through an exclusive deal with Disney; a new private-label bedding line from Serta; and the addition of Universal Remote Control (URC) to Nationwide's vendor roster.
The group also emphasized new opportunities for white-goods dealers and customer installers in smart-grid appliances, and featured what Jeannette Howe, executive director of the group's Specialty Electronics Nationwide division, described as the first seminar to bring together vendors (GE), utilities (NV Energy) and home-automation suppliers (Control4).
To help members compete at the opening price point and drive more traffic, the $12-billion buying, marketing and services group also added Sansui to its roster of competitively priced TV brands, which includes Haier and Funai's Magnavox and Philips nameplates.
"More folks understand that they need to enter new categories with better margins," noted Robert Weisner, who last month succeeded the retiring Ed Kelly as Nationwide's president. To that end, major appliance dealers have been adding mattresses to their mix to prop up profits amid aggressive white-goods discounting, while furniture dealers are being encouraged to consider CE and majaps as opportunities to build traffic and add incremental sales.
Weisner said the group is also targeting the country's thousands of unaffiliated furniture dealers as a way to expand its ranks as members retire or close shop, and plans to add several hundred furniture companies this year. The 3,000-member group lost about 100 dealers through attrition in 2010 but brought 240 new retailers aboard.
To help members address succession issues and refresh their own management skills, Nationwide will hold a small-business training conference April 3-5 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Nationwide will return to the Lone Star State Aug. 21-24 for its fall PrimeTime! event, which will be held at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas.