This week Nationwide Marketing Group has taken up residence at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas for its biannual PrimeTime buying show and conference, where more than 200 vendors are spread across 220,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Accordingly, this month’s event carries the theme of “No Limits,” which equally applies to more than 100 educational sessions at the show; the millions of dollars in instant “Cash Back Now” rebates to member dealers; and the 250,000 meals delivered over seven months as part of Nationwide’s partnership with No Child Hungry.
Nevertheless, the main focus for management is on the commitments that the buying group has made to its members, and how well those promises have been fulfilled.
“At the last show, we made some commitments to members,” noted president and chief member advocate Tom Hickman. “We promised to make it easier and more cost-efficient for them to operate their businesses. Those commitments have driven the Nationwide team every day since, and at this show we’ll be reporting back to members on each of these areas with our progress to date and our path for the future.”
Those commitments include:
- providing best-in-class people, leadership and development programs;
- delivering practical marketing solutions with proven results;
- offering comprehensive business solutions that simplify or reduce members’ cost of operations;
- enabling unmatched member access to emerging technologies and digital solutions; and
- affording members exclusive opportunities via the largest-scale buying opportunity in the market.
Checking off the last item, Nationwide this week is introducing an exclusive, private-label line of promotionally priced TVs under the BEA badge. The trio of sets range from 32 to 65 inches, and are available in both HD and 4K UHD.
Nationwide’s CE VP Doug Wrede said the line is price sheltered, meaning authorized dealers “can be as promotional as needed, all with a TV brand they can trust.”
Indeed, BEA runs sales and marketing out of its Minnesota headquarters, and its customer support system is also U.S.-based and 100 percent factory owned. The company provides low, upfront pricing in lieu of instant rebates, trailing credits and other promotional tools, and guarantees its products with a one-year field scrap program that removes dealers from the return logistics process. Distribution is handled by O’Rourke Sales Co.
There’s also a new Nationwide exclusive on the furniture side, the iLeather line from Leather Italia USA. The collection includes three stationary models or groups; three power-motion models or groups; and four individual recliners. The products incorporate exclusive technology that helps the leather resist oil and water-based stains, ball point pen marks, tearing, and color fading, the group said.
Checking off the second to last item, Nationwide has attained Google Premier Partner status, which gives the group access to Google experts and early access to new Google strategies and technologies.
According to Dev Mukherjee, president of Nationwide’s Prime Digital division, the accreditation was achieved “based on the advanced Digital Platform we announced at the last show that is already delivering excellent results for members and select vendors.”
Driving the digital initiatives was Nationwide’s recent acquisition of Site On Time, a custom website developer, and its strategic investment in package web solutions provider Retailer Web Services (RWS).
“Our integration of RWS’s advanced product catalog, along with PrimeMedia’s custom video assets, into more and more sites, is continually improving shoppers’ online experiences,” said Dean Sottile, digital operations senior VP. “This, along with the launch of AdRocket’s automated digital marketing platform, is providing lift for members of all sizes and all product categories.”
Nationwide is also announcing new business service offerings at the show, including a new product protection plan called Epic Protect, and a new strategic alliance introducing new product categories to members. “Our investment in scale, new capabilities and fresh leadership has positioned Nationwide Marketing Group at the leading edge of retail in the independent channel, where entrepreneurs are serving entrepreneurs with a path for sustained competitive advantage,” said Sean Crane, the group’s strategy and operations executive.
PrimeTime continues through tomorrow. It is shaping up to be a record show, noted Mike Whitaker, director of Nationwide Learning Academy. The academy is presenting an enhanced curriculum this year, with additional presentations from Google, industry authorities and the group’s internal experts. This is up from last year's more than 100 sessions.