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MEGA Show Sets Records For Attendance, Written Orders


Group USA, the $3 billion home-goods
buying group, reported record attendance
and vendor written orders at its
biannual National Convention last month
in Louisville, Ky.

Attendance passed the 1,500 mark,
a 15 percent increase over MEGA’s
spring show, and vendors reported
spikes in written orders in excess of 30
percent, the group said.

The 2,500-storefront group with an
emphasis on furniture, majap and CE
drew more than 70 vendors to its show,
including Whirlpool, GE, Marcone Supply,
Bosch and Electrolux. The convention also
featured the largest contingent of electronics
exhibitors in several years, MEGA said.

Members appeared optimistic, the
group reported, despite the rough retail
sales environment.

“All the dealers seem very positive and
upbeat this year,” said electronics division
manager Jim Sendrak. “Business
is certainly tough, but dealers know that
business is out there for those that aggressively
go after it.”

To help dealers compete effectively
within their markets, MEGA introduced
new and expanded advertising programs,
including new TV spots to compliment
the group’s print inserts, and
“green screen” technology that allowed
dealers to shoot customized inserts for
the commercials at the show.

Other highlights included a state-of
the-industry update by GE Appliances’
Dave Bilas, who stressed the importance
of promoting during key selling
times and holidays. Added MEGA president
Rick Bellows, “There is no doubt
that consumers are responding to aggressive
pricing and value-driven propositions.
Dealers need to take advantage
of the major holidays such as Labor Day,
Thanksgiving and Christmas to push
these points and drive traffic during
these periods. Consumers are shopping
then, so our members need to be
heavily promoting then.”

The convention, held at the Marriot
Downtown in Louisville, also featured a
service workshop led by United Services
Association’s (USA’s) Paul MacDonald
and a full slate of seminars including:

• “Total HD Experience” training by
Almo’s Jack Halperin;

• “In-depth Advertising and Marketing”
training, including Internet, social-networking
and search engine optimization

• special insights into Toshiba technology
presented by DSI’s Greg Hughes;

• “Consumer Finance = Profitable
Sales,” presented by GE Money’s Diane

In addition, keynote speaker and retail
consultant Bob Negen of WhizBang
Marketing shared proven business practices,
marketing tips and sales-force
training methods based on his experience
as founder of the Mackinaw Kite
Co., a small chain of specialty kite stores
he launched at the age of 23.

MEGA also paid out more than $1
million in “Fast Cash” during the show,
which maximizes buying opportunities
by putting additional margin back into
dealers’ businesses, the group said.

“Our mission is simple,” said Bellows.
“We do what is best for our dealers, period.
We succeed only if they succeed
first. The convention is just one of the
many things that we do to help them,
and we look forward to continuing it year
after year.”

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