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Mega Group Tackles Online Challenges, Launches New Bedding Programs At Fall Show

Mega Group USA, the 1,700-member buying organization for independent furniture, bedding, appliance and CE dealers, ended a four-day run at Nashville’s Music City Center last month, where dealers and vendors convened for its annual fall convention.

According to Mega Group president Rick Bellows, “Nashville show attendance by members is always strong, and this year was no different.”

Highlights included a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and digital leadership authority Erik Qualman, and two new bedding programs from Serta and Tempur Sealy that are exclusive to members.

In his address, Qualman reminded dealers how online reviews can shape a business’s reputation, for better or worse. In conjunction, longtime Mega supplier Retailer Web Services (RWS) introduced at the show its WebFronts Review online reputation software, developed exclusively for independent hard lines retailers.

“Online reviews are increasing in visibility and influence, affecting people’s purchasing decisions,” said RWS COO Jennie Gilbert. “We developed Web-Fronts Review to provide a systematic way for [retailers] to know what’s being said about their stores online, and learn how to respond to negative reviews and increase positive reviews. It provides everything retailers need to manage their online reputation in one convenient package.”

Added Bellows: “We believe that digital marketing, done right, levels the competitive playing field between independent retailers and big-box stores. These are exciting times for our members; they can once and for all take the nationals and power regionals head-on and win.”

On the bedding front, Serta presented a 600-square-foot DreamHaven Mattress Gallery featuring 14 beds inside an interactive display, designed to provide non-mattress dealers easy entrée to the category.

Meanwhile, Tempur Sealy brought back the legacy Crown Jewel brand as a Mega Group exclusive. The updated line will begin shipping in October, and is expected to be an important Black Friday adjunct, the group said.

The show also featured a host of bedding seminars, business leadership workshops and appliance training sessions, plus a raft of new vendor additions including: A&B Home, American Heartland, Art Lifestyles, Cariloah, Capitol Marketing, Capitol Sales, CoreCentric Solutions, Flitz, Fred’s Appliance Academy, Innovex, JRR Advertising, Novo – Serta Comfort Lift, Paragon, Ragalta, SES Imagotag and ShopKeep.

Elsewhere at the convention, Capitol, a leading CE distributor for the custom integration channel, brought out the best of its “cut-the-cord” assortment for Mega dealers.

“The cord-cutting trend is resonating with Mega’s customer base because they cater to price-and quality-conscious end-users who are anxious to save money without sacrificing quality of life,” observed Capitol president Curt Hayes.

Capitol’s selection included Channel Master’s sleek SMARTenna indoor/outdoor HDTV antenna and the Roku 4 (4400R) 4K streaming media player with over 2,500 channel options and advanced upscaling.

“The continuing increase in cable costs combined with the outstanding programming selection on streaming services has millions of consumers considering their options,” Hayes noted.

Why exhibit at the show? “Mega Group is not only one of the biggest buying groups in our business, it’s one of most varied, covering categories from electronics to home furnishings, appliances and more,” Hayes added. “Their membership is among the savviest in the business, always hunting for new opportunities that will increase business now and in the long term.”