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Mega Group says central billing business growing

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Mega Group's efforts to provide central billing and other administrative services to other retail organizations have also proven successful, Michael Vancura, Mega's executive vice president of retail operations, told group members at their annual meeting here.
     The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan- based cooperative now provides these services to groups including the Dufresne Retail Solutions Group, the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based furniture and appliance buying group; Millennium Micro Group, a group of independent computer retailers and IT service providers based in Montreal; Audio Visual Unlimited, a 100-store association of independent consumer electronics retailers; Foto Source Canada, a 200- unit group of photography retailers; and two retail flooring groups, End of the Roll and Floors Now.
     "In some ways we have become a group for groups," Vancura said, adding that Mega will continue to market these services to other retail groups on both sides of the border. It has become an important profit center for Mega, he said.
     The group's membership remained fairly steady last year, although 14 members closed their stores in 2012, he said.
     Vancura also reported that Brand Source Canada, the group's primary go-to-market strategy, now has 150 member units across the country, including 65 integrated stores - units that carry the entire program and operate under the Brand Source banner.
     This year, the group's focus will be on strengthening the core program - especially in furniture - while continuing to improve the online experience for the consumer.

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