Dallas — With the wind at its back from a strong fourth quarter, the Nationwide Marketing Group is moving quickly to drive critical new initiatives through its dealer ranks.
The programs, which include member-specific strategies to grow local market share, and a centralized web portal for placing orders with multiple distributors, were introduced here this week at the group’s biannual PrimeTime meeting and buying show.
Also announced was the appointment of industry veteran Hank Alexander as director of Specialty Electronics Nationwide (SEN), the group’s A/V specialty and custom-integration chapter. Alexander has over 20 years’ experience on both the dealer and manufacturer sides, having served at Montana CE/majap chain Vann’s and with vendors Niles Audio, Crestron, Core Brands and Clare Controls.
He fills a year-long vacancy left by longtime SEN director Jeannette Howe, who helped launch the division.
SEN will be critical to the group’s success in the burgeoning connected-home segment, explained Tom Hickman, who heads Nationwide’s CE efforts as electronics senior VP. “We’re reinvesting in that business.” (See interview, here.)
The group also deepened its management bench on the white-goods side with the addition of Circuit City and Ultimate Electronics veteran Derek Mattila as appliances director, reporting to appliances senior VP Patrick Maloney.
Chief among Nationwide’s new initiatives is the member market-share program. Dubbed Prepare For Share, it blends proprietary sales data with information from The NPD Group, AHAM and other sources to pinpoint growth opportunities for individual dealers within their local markets.
Dealers are then presented with a detailed strategic blueprint that directs them to specific sales, training, merchandising or marketing assets within the Nationwide arsenal.
Executive VP Jeff Knock said current disruptions in the retail marketplace, including RadioShack’s bankruptcy and store closings and sales declines at Sears, provide a unique opportunity for independent dealers to take share. Graphically showing members the market share that’s in play within their own trading areas will hopefully serve as a wake-up call, as the window of opportunity is finite, he said.
One of Nationwide’s newest assets is eXchange, a distributor buying portal located on the group’s dealer intranet site. A year in the making, the platform provides easy access to best-selling SKUs from nearly 100 top CE brands, as offered through seven distributor partners including AVAD, CED, Capitol, D&H, DSI Systems and Petra.
The program, developed by distribution logistics senior VP Dean Sottile, will help core TV and appliance dealers tap into the connected-home market, he said, and will eventually expand to about a dozen distributors, with the goal of adding majaps and possibly furniture to the mix. (See interview, here.)
Complete coverage of Nationwide's PrimeTime show will appear in the March 16 print edition of TWICE.