• Clint Engel

BrandSource wraps up Vegas dealer convention

LAS VEGAS — Furniture, electronics and appliance buying group BrandSource wrapped up its National Convention & Expo here late last month following four days of meetings, networking and keynote speakers, educational sessions, product training and showcases.

The convention, which began Aug. 26 at the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino, was sponsored by Electrolux, Whirlpool, Serta, Sealy, GE Appliances, LG Appliances and Samsung. The event was designed to help members grow their businesses and increase revenues. It also provided members with information on developments in retail sales and contacts within the BrandSource family of dealers, “all while enjoying the sights and sounds of the famed Las Vegas Strip,” the group said in a release.

During the event, BrandSource offered 30 educational sessions, including, “Teaching the Trainer: Teaching Your Personnel How to Sell Protection Plans,” “Top Nine Reasons Family Businesses Fail” and “Succession Planning.” Product training sessions included programs from BrandSource’s Expert Warehouse, GE, Sealy, Samsung Appliances, LG Appliances, Whirlpool and Electrolux were also showcased as a means of familiarizing members with new models and features from appliance manufacturers.

BrandSource’s John White moderated a panel touching on hot topics in furniture, bedding, appliance and digital categories. Participants included Whirlpool’s Sam Abdelnour, Bill West from Serta, Kerry Lebensburger from Ashley Furniture and Andrew Leonard of Google.

Other activities included a first-time-attendees reception and the bi-annual Women in Business Luncheon, which featured guest speaker and counseling psychologist, Dr. Sabrina Starling.

brandsource stampedeThe BrandSource digital marketing team at the popular Stampede during the BrandSource National Convention & Expo in Las Vegas
Other events were aimed at specific groups within BrandSource’s membership. For the Young Professionals group of young independent dealers, sales representatives, buyers and sales managers, there were sessions on “Retail Math: Understanding the Math behind Your Business and How You Can Be More Profitable” and “Taking Ownership: Buying Process Bootcamp.”

Members also enjoyed the western-themed stampede event where special deals were offered to dealers.

BrandSource CEO Jim Ristow gave a state of the union address that lauded the success of the membership “yet cautioned them of the pitfalls of complacence in the face of changes in the industry,” BrandSource said.

“We look to the future, not the past. We are in a tidal wave of change,” Ristow said. “You get to ride the wave, or get crushed by the wave.”

The buying group declined to disclose its attendance figures for the convention.

The member-owned BrandSource has nearly 4,500 retailer members with more than 8,000 stores in North America doing more than $17 billion in annual sales. Strategic alliances and division for the umbrella company Associated Volume Buyers include the main BrandSource division, Canada’s Mega Group, the rent-to-own industry’s TRIB, consumer electronics group ProSource and HFA Buying Source, a buying group managed for the Home Furnishings Assn.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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