Buying Groups Celebrate Their Staying Power

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The Boston Group, the 72-member New England-based buying group, celebrated its 40th anniversary last month with a gala dinner here attended by dealers and their vendors.

"Some people thought the independent dealers were going to go away," noted director of marketing Jim Cunningham. "We're happy to say that in recent years our market penetration has grown."

Boston, a member of the NECO Alliance, which in turn belongs to the Nationwide Marketing Group, the industry's largest buying organization, attributes its success to those affiliations as well as its massive, centralized warehouse and distribution facility.

"A warehousing buying group is a great business model," Cunningham noted. "It allows the smaller appliance and electronics retailers to have a huge inventory at their fingertips and all the merchandise at the right price."

The distribution center, located in Franklin, Mass., was recently expanded by 53,000 square feet, bringing its total size to 271,000 square feet. Explained executive VP Sherm Rivolla, "The management team feels that the group's growth will continue in the years to come and we look forward to the further expansion of the facilities and services we provide to our members."


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