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Queen City, Bernie’s Join Nationwide

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former
NATM Buying Corp. members Queen
City and Bernie’s have joined the Nationwide
Marketing Group.

For Bernie’s, the move represents a
rebirth of the 63-year-old Connecticutbased
business which shut its doors in

For Queen City, the 11-store CE and
appliance chain based here, the change
marks a return to Nationwide, where
it had been a buying group member
through much of the 1980s and 1990s.

Queen City CEO Roddey Player said
the return was prompted by Nationwide’s
enhanced marketing programs
and its warehouse distribution system.
The latter will provide it with Samsung
inventory after Queen City’s volume
requirements fell below the vendor’s direct-
ship minimum.

The chain continues to receive most
of its inventory in container shipments
direct from manufacturers, Roddey
told TWICE, although high unemployment
within Charlotte’s banking
industry and the consolidation of four
stores have impacted sales.

Robert Weisner, executive VP of
member services at Nationwide, said
Queen City joined the group’s Brand
Builders division, comprised of its 60
largest dealers. Nationwide provides special programs for Brand Builders
members that support their multi-store
operations, he said.

Separately, Weisner confirmed that
a reborn Bernie’s will formally join
the group with the opening of its first
Bernie’s Home Central store on June 1
in Manchester, Conn. Bernie’s principal
Milton Rosenberg will likely draw
inventory from warehouses operated
by Nationwide’s local NECO chapter,
and is planning additional locations,
Weisner said.

According to a report in the Hartford
Courant, Rosenberg received
bankruptcy court approval last month
to buy the chain’s name for $150,000
from Citizen’s Bank, its largest secured
lender. Rosenberg said the new store
will stock brand-name appliances, TVs
and bedding, and that a second location
will open later this year.

Calls to Rosenberg’s attorneys seeking
comment were not returned at press