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Nationwide Gains CE Share With Dual Market Strategy

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD.

— Nationwide
Marketing Group has been able to beat industry
performances in CE this year by selling
3D TV and other upscale products, and
by offering low-end deals to get customers
into their stores.

That’s what Mike Decker, electronics
merchandising senior VP, told TWICE during
the group’s PrimeTime! Show at the
Gaylord National Resort, here.

In consumer electronics, which is 25 percent
of Nationwide’s projected $11 billion
in annual sales, Decker said that while the
industry may be up 3 to 5 percent in revenue,
Nationwide is up 10 to 15 percent.

What is driving the group’s business is
“3D TV, IPTV and LED TV sales” as well as
low-end deals and packages to drive traffic
into stores, Decker said.

In 3D TV, Decker said that while independents
complained 3D TV got the first shot
with national accounts, “Since Samsung
rolled it out first we planned with [distributor]
SED to sell it the same time they did. What
we learned was that consumers have a lot of
questions on glasses, the different formats
of glasses, and content. If you don’t sell
DirecTV with dedicated 3D channels, you
should, and there is more and more available
3D content if you sell 3D Blu-ray decks.”

In the overall TV market, Decker said for
Nationwide, LED, IPTV and 3D are all important,
with IPTV having “twice the growth
of last year.”

And as for plasma TV, the format has
made a significant comeback. He noted,
“Samsung has done everything to make us
a leading marketer in plasma and given us
great deals and features. Plasma is a good
place for higher [margins]. In the past three
years we have let the national accounts
fight about LCD TVs, but plasma delivers
the picture performance, improved energy
use for consumers.”

Decker also related that in the spring, when
consumers were looking from 40- to 42-inch
720p HDTVs, “they were going to big-box retailers,
especially from top-tier brands. Only
recently supply started to free up.”

Nationwide turned to Funai — with its
Sylvania, Maganvox and Philips brands —
and Haier, both here at the show, for that
product that enabled them to “provide the
right product and stay in the hunt, at the
right cost.”

Speaking of Nationwide’s two biggest
competitors, Best Buy and Walmart, Decker
said its members “shop there and see how
we can compete against them. One of our
best attributes is implementation.
[Nationwide
members] can
embrace the benefits
on how to sell 3DTV
glasses and video content
… explain IPTV.”

And Nationwide is
not giving up the low
end to national chains.

Ed Kelly, president,
said in a press briefing
that if there are opportunity buys, “We have
to be on our toes and take advantage of
that. Buy and sell it fast. We can move faster
than the big box retailers in that respect.”

At that same briefing during the show,
Robert Weisner, executive VP/director,
added, “We have to be in the ballgame, if
it means selling 32-inch TVs at promotional
prices that is a small price to pay to get
people in the door. Independent retailers
are strong enough to help the consumer
see the value of the sale … sell a ‘basket’ of
goods, and close the sales.”

Decker quipped that Black Friday “will
begin on Oct. 31, and we will be ready.”

For instance, Decker said, Nationwide
will be offering a 17-inch LCD/DVD combo
from an unnamed vendor at less than $150.
Also, “LG has a sub-$300 30-inch LCD
[and] there will be a Haier 32-inch LCD at
$300,” among other deals.

Nationwide will also have fall and Christmas
specials of less than $100 with help
from Almo that will consist of “MP3 players,
camcorders, digital cameras, low-end LCD
TVs … packages our members can buy
multiple times,” Decker said.

But not everything is about the lowestcost
deal. At the show Nationwide was offering
the Xstream HD satellite service that
provides “thousands of hours of 1080p
content,” Decker said. “Its receiver provides
7.1 Dolby wirelessly, and its retail
launch is here.”

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