Retail Observer

May 2015

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 53 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM MAY 2015 54 J eff Knock, Nationwide's executive vice president, reported that 2014- 2015 introduced some of the best programs and tools that Nationwide has ever created. "Regarding home appliances, overall, the industry is up about 6% with new housing starts driving the momentum (+15%). A continued focus on premium laundry and kitchen suites and an expanded focus on built-ins," said Knock. Knock said that furniture store sales were up +2.4%, with Nationwide running double digit increases in both furniture & bedding and that the bedding industry experienced +5.7% growth in 2014 vs 2013. When it comes to CE, Knock said, "We have an early lead in 4K and UHD and our leadership position in technology continues to pay off, as we are beating the market in 2014 growth by 16%. We continue to see audio growth but this will continue to be our focus as we move through 2015. We intend to leverage our booming TV business into more add on sales in this category." Senior Vice President of Appliances, Patrick Maloney, said appliance dealers should embrace the perfect storm of opportunity that accompanies the recent industry shifts. "Overall, the year was positive for Nationwide, but it wasn't the easiest road to travel. We entered last year upbeat after a solid 2013, but quickly got hit with terrible weather across the nation in January and February. This put us in a retail hole that took some time to dig ourselves out of. As we clawed back and customers started entering our stores again, we were hit with some major stock outages from important suppliers. Again we clawed back. That is the nature of the Independent retailer. That is our spirit. Nothing can keep us down. The opportunity to gain this share is lead by two major forces. The continued decline of Sears and the influx of customers to the market that are buying under duress will drive foot traffic to your location. The industry is on the cusp of delivering replacement products for the highest shipment years in our history. With that said, we need to ensure your location is top of mind and prepared to deliver the service that these consumers expect," said Maloney. Tom Hickman, senior vice president of electronics, reported that not only the TV industry continues to change, but other sectors of the category as well. Hickman stated, "I walked away from CES with one clear takeaway: that all things are connected. If they aren't today, they will be tomorrow. Cars connected to watches that are connected to phones, and those same phones connected to TV's that are connected to coffee makers that are connected to washing machines that are connected to thermostats. You get the idea. Sure we have been talking about it, but I saw it in shapes and forms and real life applications like never before. The connected game is here. For years I thought home automation for sure was going to come from the TV as the hub. I may have discounted the power of the refrigerator in the equation. Bottom line is the connected world is the new world and the connected game is the new game. Nationwide is already in the game with many products and services that help independent retailers compete in this arena." Dallas March 2015 PrimeTime! Recap

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