Retail Observer

November 2015

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

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NOVEMBER 2015 RETAILOBSERVER.COM 35 ANOTHER GRANd slAM! mega group usa – fall 2015 show ome to the famous Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Factory and Museum, the MEGA convention held in Louisville, Kentucky hosted over 1,200 independent retailers and vendors. Guests came with eager minds and a listening ear to training seminars from world-class vendors, informational sessions from professionals in the appliance, home furnishings, bedding and electronics industry; and received exclusive buying specials during the famous MEGA Madness event. One of the major appeals of being a MEGA member and attending a national convention are the training sessions hosted by top appliance brands such as Whirlpool, Electrolux, GE and Samsung. Attendees had the choice of sitting in sixteen different demonstrations and explanations, covering skills in merchandising a sales floor through the eyes of a consumer, as well as why dealers should merchandise built-in products. Vendors also provided demonstrations and showed new features on upcoming products of the season. S.V.P. of Electrolux, Mark Chambers, addressed a packed crowd of appliance dealers in his session, in which he covered U.S. economic indicators and shipping trends/forecasts for the appliance industry. On the other side, there were over 150 MEGA members who listened to mattress/bedding professionals in the three-part session, Mattress University. Executive Editor of Furniture Today, David Perry, kicked off these meetings with a discussion of mattress news and happenings. The newly named president of Serta Simmons Bedding, Michael Traub, presented an overview of strategies retailers can use to grow their bedding businesses, by expressing that retailers should not fear competition from national chains. Leaders from TempurPedic + Sealy, Serta and Simmons answered questions in a panel discussion lead by MEGA's Executive V.P. of Furniture & Mattress, Jerry Honea. "We are very optimistic about the independent retail channel," said Marty Melcher, Serta's V.P. of Buying Groups. This fall convention brought new sessions of growing topics in the industry. Missy Hodges, V.P. of Appliances, hosted an outdoor workshop accompanied by leading outdoor vendors focusing on how to help a member grow their business by adding appealing items from this category. In this session, many MEGA members learned how to enter into this profitable grouping. Another new and exciting announcement at the fall convention was The MEGA Tech Group. MEGA was happy to host former RadioShack franchises, Executive V.P. of Electronics and Marketing, Jim Sendrak, along with Frank Beer, director of MEGA Tech, hosted a full day of meetings and workshops to help welcome these new retailers to the MEGA family. Members gained firsthand knowledge of all MEGA member business services and new vendor programs. "These independent retailers have been without the support they need since the RadioShack bankruptcy," said Mr. Sendrak. "We're delighted to be able to welcome them to our business family." h

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