— Brand Source held its final fall convention and buy show at the Paris and Bally’s hotels here earlier this month (the venue will move across The Strip to Caesars Palace next year).
Show attendance was up, executives reported, and dealers participated in the largest-ever “Stampede” special-buy event, which now includes appliances and parts, CE, furniture and gift products for bundling.
Other highlights included a keynote address by GE Appliances & Lighting president/CEO Jim Campbell, who told attendees that high unemployment and an ailing housing market have extended the recession beyond his company’s projections, and urged independent dealers to remain price-competitive until a new generation of “smart” appliances can help revive retails.
“You have to be in the game, and you can’t let one sale walk out the door,” he exhorted Brand Source members. “If you lose your shoppers, they won’t come back, and you will lose to the big-box guys.”
The buying group has also moved its spring convention, long held in Dallas, to the World Marriott Center in Orlando, Fla., where members will convene next February.