The NATM Buying Corp. has chosen Samsung as one of its core video vendors.
Although Samsung has moved significant volume through NATM's individual dealers, particularly over the past year, the decision marks the first time that the manufacturer has enjoyed core status with the buying group.
By definition, NATM's core vendors sell to all members within the group on a program basis.
The move follows Sony's recent decision to stop funding group co-op programs and to redirect its marketing funds to individual dealers. Sony had been a core NATM vendor for the previous four years.
Bill Trawick, president and executive director of NATM, noted that the group continues to enjoy a strong relationship with Sony, which still supports all 12 member dealers.
“You shouldn't read too much into the advantages of core status,” he said, adding that non-core vendors often do as much or more business through NATM dealers than core suppliers.
Trawick said that all but one group member supported Samsung last year, when NATM “did a lot of business” with the manufacturer thanks in part to the popularity of rear-projection DLP. Now, he said, “we decided to embrace them a little more.”
NATM is expected to name two additional video vendors as core suppliers by month's end.
—Additional reporting by Greg Tarr