There was a time, not all that long ago, when Best Buy, Walmart and the home-improvement chains seemed unstoppable, and pundits were ready to write off the independent dealer channel.
More recently, Amazon has become the new Death Star, and once again industry observers are questioning the role and long-term viability of local and regional retail.
Although this battle is still playing itself out, odds are the neighborhood TV and appliance dealer will still be doing business on Main Street long after Mr. Bezos retires. The reasons are myriad, but two main points come to mind:
1. Consumers want a trusted, multigenerational neighborhood friend to serve and solve their tech and home appliance needs.
2. The majority of independents are backed by competitive, volume-discounted merchandising and financing programs and the latest digital marketing tools, which come courtesy of the industry’s buying groups.
What follows is a multi-group reminder of what these confederations do best: helping the independent channel to prosper.