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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Page 35 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM NOVEMBER 2015 36 From their latest addition of personnel talent, MEGA's Director of Training, Doug Stewart, and Marketing Manager, Brooke Feldman, provided insightful, new sessions. Mr. Stewart hosted a session focused on accountability, specifically on shop owners to themselves and their staff. Ms. Feldman monitored a marketing roundtable, where members were prompted with questions about their marketing plans and provided each other with advice. MEGA was fortunate enough to have two, incredible speakers address keynotes in Louisville: President of Serta Simmons Bedding, Michael Traub and Chief Operating Officer of Retailer Web Services, Jennie Gilbert. Mr. Traub delivered a speech, focusing on specific challenges retailers are facing with the evolution of e-commerce businesses. Mr. Traub described independent retailers as "home- town heroes," with generations of success in meeting their customers' needs. "The independent retailer is here to stay," Traub said in his address. Mr. Traub brought to the stage research and case studies that emphasized that with the help of MEGA's services, an independent retailer can stay above the competition. In summary, independent retailers play an important role on the retail landscape. With great applause from the crowd of MEGA members, Mr. Traub's address ended on a special, high note. Mr. Honea of MEGA presented Mr. Traub with the gift of an inscribed Louisville Slugger baseball bat as a welcome from his new family and a thank you from the MEGA team. Ms. Gilbert addressed the crowd during a bountiful breakfast where she introduced, and walked through step-by-step the new, and improved, MEGA WebFronts. As a long-standing digital partner of MEGA, this collaboration has a huge goal in mind: to provide effective, cutting-edge digital resources dedicated to the success of each member retailer. The new extension of MEGA WebFronts, Ms. Gilbert, stressed, provides digital marketing solutions for every member no matter their experience or budget, furthering MEGA's commitment to each of their members. MEGA members can now get their store online low as $59 a month. One excited feature released during this keynote was the introduction to Level 4. This new program includes a customized website with pre-loaded product data for 1,000 plus brands, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), automatic email remarketing, social media integration, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and exclusive, as well as automated turnkey promotions for only MEGA members. The assets available to MEGA members can assist a retailer on not just promotional activity, but the opportunity to make their presence known in more effective ways. "WebFronts Level 4 harnesses the power of Marketing Automation," and Ms. Gilbert. "It does everything durable goods retailers need to do online all through one central program." "The take-away from all of this web-talk is simply that today, an independent retailer can absolutely compete with ALL big-box stores and be on a level playing field when it comes to having a digital presence," stated Jim Sendrak. "In the past it was virtually impossible for independent businesses to match the marketing spend compared to their major competitors." Another great perk about attending a MEGA convention is the consumer finance offerings. The MEGA Finance Exchange was announced to the attending membership with instant success. This one-stop financial experience provides amazing financial support to all MEGA members. The members that signed up during the convention took advantage of the value the program brings by creating more profit through larger tickets and sales. The famous buying event, MEGA Madness, had a swarm of people rushing into a ballroom to bring home great deals on amazing products from over 40 vendors that participated. There were amazing buys on home furnishings, appliances and accessories, electronics and more. On the next day the 130,000 sq. ft. showroom floor of the Louisville Convention Center, also displayed the latest products from over 100 vendors, while offering one-on-one interaction with sales and merchandising staffs. "We continue to see the success our conventions have to the membership and our supporting vendors," said Rick Bellows, president of MEGA. "We are thankful for the partnership we have with our vendors. Each convention, the training sessions knock it out of the park. Our members come out of this experience refreshed. Our goal of these conventions is to make it worthwhile in every aspect we can. We are always striving to make each convention better than the last." The MEGA fall convention closed with an ode to Louisville featuring Kentucky's #1 country-rock-party band, Artie Dean Harris and Bourbontown, a batting cage, and bourbon tasting sponsored by Whirlpool. Attendees raved about the hospitality and service provided over the course of three days and wanted more of the delicious food. Members and vendors danced the night away before heading back home to their stores. The balance of work and family will be a major theme for this upcoming convention. Retailers and vendors of MEGA will have the opportunity to learn and have fun with their loved ones at Walt Disney World of Orlando. MEGA hopes to bring more innovative, business seminars and educational opportunities for their members with the chance to have time in the Disney parks as well. The MEGA Group Spring National Convention will be held March 11-14, 2016 at the Dolphin Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, FL. From the buying opportunities to the training seminars, the MEGA conventions are tailored to the retailers who strive for excellence in their market. MEGA will see you with Mickey in March. RO mega fall 2015 show ANOTHER GRANd slAM!

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