NMG Launching Private-Label CE Line, Expands Tablet Assortment With D&H

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GRAPEVINE, TEXAS —

The Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG) will launch a value-priced private-label CE line this fall that could eventually encompass TVs, Blu-ray and DVD players, Android tablets, soundbars and gaming accessories under the exclusive Allegra Electronics brand.

The buying organization for independent dealers is also expanding its tablet assortment through a new partnership with D&H Distributing.

The private-label program, directsourced from Chinese OEM Eternal Asia (EA), is designed to provide member dealers with a promotionally priced, albeit tier-one-quality, line that will allow them to compete with Best Buy’s Dynex brand and other openingprice- point products.

The initial rollout, set for November, will include three LED TVs, two LCD models and two BD players. The TVs will feature A-plus-grade panels with 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates, and super-slim 1.8-inch-thick bezels in 26- inch, 32-inch, 40-inch and 55-inch screen sizes.

A 3D SKU is planned for early 2012, although IP capabilities will be reserved for a forthcoming selection of DVD players, due out in January.

The TVs are priced to deliver upward of 20 to 25 points of margin, but at $299 for the 32-inch model, can still provide 12 to 15 points if used as price leaders.

“A private-label opportunity puts the control back with the dealers — they can advertise it however they want without worrying about other retailers,” explained electronics merchandising VP Doug Schatz.

EA is reportedly the 23rd largest company in China, with 14 production facilities, and produces components for tier-one brands in addition to finished goods. The manufacturer will ship container-sized orders to the U.S., where Nationwide distribution partner SED International will provide fulfillment.

Although Allegra will launch with no name recognition, consumers are lessbrand-conscious about TVs that are less than 50 inches and $500, observed Mike Decker, the group’s electronics merchandising senior VP. He said additional products will be introduced following the initial TV test this fall.

NMG CEO Robert Weisner added that Nationwide remains supportive of its main video vendors LG, Mitsubishi, Samsung and Toshiba, which together represent about 90 percent of the group’s TV volume.

The new partnership with D&H expands Nationwide’s tablet assortment from Acer and Asus, which will continued to be supplied by distributor SED International, to also include computers, peripherals and accessories from Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Toshiba.

CE merchandising VP Doug Schatz said computers are a major category for the group’s rent-to-own dealers, and can be an important adjunct to all members due to their shorter lifecycle, which provides repeat business. Tablets, which along with smartphones are showing the greatest CE growth this year, can also drive traffic and bring in a younger customer, he said.

Schatz called the new alliance with D&H “a natural partnership,” and described the distributor as a low-cost, best-in-class provider. D&H will also provide Nationwide members with tablet, peripheral and accessory bundles to help boost category margins, along with special pricing and consultation, noted D&H senior VP Jeff Davis.

Schatz and Davis added that they will continue to support HP, which is exiting tablets and smartphones only, and that the brand, whether spun off or acquired by another PC manufacturer, remains the No. 1 name in personal computers.

The announcements were made at last month’s Nationwide’s PrimeTime! buy fair and dealer conference, which was held here at the Gaylord Texan.

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