Mega Group USA, the 3,200-store marketing and merchandising organization for independent furniture, CE, appliance and bedding dealers, is urging its members to redouble their efforts amid a once-in-a-generation marketplace opportunity.
Addressing the rank-and-file at last week’s Mega Spring Convention in New Orleans, president Rick Bellows said that national-chain woes can translate into big share gains for independent dealers — if they keep the pedal to the metal.
“The appliance and home-furnishing industry is as exciting as it has ever been,” he told attendees at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. “For the first time in over 20 years, the opportunities that lay ahead for the independent retailer are tremendous. The independent channel, our members, can pick up billions of dollars of share; we have the tools and resources to capture it.”
Among those tools is a robust digital marketing program, provided by Retailer Web Services (RWS), which he described as “a primary lever retailers’ need to pull now in order to take their piece of the open share.”
Mega further underscored its digital focus by bringing in keynoter Kevin Lao, a partner enablement manager for Google Marketing Solutions.
Jim Sendrak, Mega’s longtime CE and marketing executive VP, performs with The Nola Dukes Band at his retirement send-off.
Other opportunities exist in untapped high-margin categories. To that end, Mega introduced at the convention two new additions to its vendor ranks: Saratoga Spas, makers of in-home and outdoor spa products, and Icon Health and Fitness, which makes and markets the NordicTrack, iFit and ProForm lines of exercise equipment.
Members also honed their business skills at over 40 educational and training sessions covering furniture, bedding, appliances, shipping and, of course, digital marketing.
A highlight of the convention was a final reception and send-off for former CE and marketing executive VP Jim Sendrak, who retired from Mega after 17 years on March 31. But Sendrak didn’t go quietly: He marked his final Mega Group show by joining The Nola Dukes Band on stage where he demonstrated his bass guitar prowess.