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BrandSource Kicks Off Fall Show

Las Vegas — The BrandSource buying group returned to Las Vegas this week for its biannual National Convention & Expo.

Outgoing CEO Bob Lawrence formally kicked off the proceedings at Caesars Palace yesterday with a welcome address that touched on marketplace disarray, a theme he is expected to return to later this morning in his keynote.

“Business is confusing – Panasonic is out of plasma, Mitsubishi is out of TV, Electrolux may be acquiring GE and Lowe’s is getting close to Sears in appliance share,” he said.

Lawrence, who is expected to step down from the buying co-op’s top spot at year’s end, followed his remarks with a BrandSource Dealers of the Year Awards presentation (see winner’s list, below) and the popular “Stampede” buying session for show specials.

This week’s Stampede deals included a healthy helping of non-traditional products including electric generators, bedding, cutlery and cookware, floor care, patio heaters, recliners, area rugs, electric fireplaces and even apparel.

BrandSource ended the evening with a performance by multi-platinum country music quartet Lonestar.

The proceedings continue this morning with Lawrence’s state-of-the-industry keynote, an address by football great Joe Theismann, and the opening of the group’s buy fair.

This year’s Dealers of the Year are:

* Pioneer TV & Appliance

* A&A Maytag Appliance Center

* Langlois Furniture & Appliance

* Best Kitchen & Appliance Center

* A.C. Carlson Appliances

* Video Tech

* Sav-Mart

* Ginno’s Kitchen & Appliance Center

* Hutch’s Home Furnishings

* BrandSource Home Gallery

* Frederickson Tire & Appliance

* North Canton TV & Appliance

The show continues through Wednesday.