In a rare confluence of conventions, three of the country’s top merchandising groups for independent dealers have converged in Orlando, Fla., this month for their bi-annual member meetings and trade shows.
Wrapping up the March madness is the Nationwide Marketing Group’s Prime-Time show, which kicked off March 13 for a four-day run at the Orange County Convention Center.
The central message from the No. 1 group by sales volume: Despite its vast size, its independent dealers receive localized support thanks to Nationwide’s six regional divisions.
“While our $15 billion in buying power gives us the critical mass to dwarf competing groups, our regional divisions” — Nationwide East, Nationwide West, Nationwide Southwest, Nationwide Florida, United Stores and Cantrex (Canada) — “provide levels of personalized member support for their members that can only come from teams who understand their regions, their dealers and their consumers,” said CEO Dave Bilas.
Bilas noted that the partial departure of the NECO Alliance, which had long formed its Northeast chapter, is creating new opportunities for other independents. “The departure of a partial division of dealers in the Northeast has created many opportunities, with many of the more progressive dealers looking to Nationwide to continue their 21st century strategies through Nationwide’s proprietary member services unavailable from any other source at any price,” he said.
Here’s what other Nationwide execs had to say:
CCO Jeff Knock: The divisions “provide hands-on field support for thousands of members primarily in their markets. The Nationwide Marketing Group’s field team interfaces with larger members and provides members of every size with unparalleled buying power, marketing services, educational programs, financial services and market research. It’s a powerful one-two punch.”
Dennis Willich, CEO, Nationwide Southwest: “Our regional division began its journey by joining with Nationwide 15 years ago. Our growth has been nothing short of incredible and our members have not only survived, but thrived, during the difficult economic times that we have all experienced.
“Our ‘hands on with every member’ approach and the powerful leading-edge tools that we have at our disposal have enabled our field sales team to arm our members with a strategy to capture share today and prepare for the changing marketplace tomorrow.
“The execution of these tools by our members’ showcases Nationwide’s strength and symbolizes that no other group can bring the breadth and depth of this firepower to every member of every size like our team can.”
Nationwide will be launching additional tools and initiatives this week at Prime-Time, where some 3,000 member attendees and more than 175 exhibiting vendors are expected to fill the 198,000-square-foot exhibition hall, and tap into millions of dollars in “Cash Back Now” instant rebates. A full slate of educational sessions, networking events and state-of-the-industry updates are also on tap.