BrandSource, the largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent home goods dealers, rolled out a four-point plan last week to drive continued growth and share gains in a post-pandemic marketplace.
The easily adapted program, introduced at BrandSource’s 2022 Convention in Dallas, is designed to spur further volume and traffic following a record two-and-a-half-year run, when the group’s appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers worked around the clock to accommodate customers and chalked up average sales increases of over 50 percent.
But in a current environment marked by higher costs, rising interest rates and a more discerning consumer, dealers will have to up their game to maintain their momentum, AVB’s CEO Jim Ristow implored attendees during his convention kickoff address. His winning four-point formula calls for:
- Raising fees for members’ superior but underpriced delivery, installation and haul-away services to match marketplace rates, which can boost profits by as much as 5% in appliances and 8% for furniture.
- Employing a point-of-sale system (POS) that connects members’ online, in-store and backroom functions for a consistent consumer experience and more efficient operations.
- Keeping e-commerce sites up to flagship standards with accurate pricing and consumer conveniences like live chat, payment gateways and real-time in-stocks, which attract and keep customers.
- Increasing marketing spend to match members’ recent sales strides and to maintain a high profile amid increased promotional activity by national chains.
“After two-and-a-half great years, our world, the economy and our industries are changing,” Ristow said. “The good news is I see opportunity, and it just requires basic table stakes to win.
“AVB has the solutions but it’s ultimately up to you to ‘own it,’” he said, referencing this year’s inspirational show theme. “If you plug in, you will win.”
Elsewhere during the group’s four-day gathering at Dallas’ Gaylord Texan, a record attendee turnout took in 30 vendor trainings — the most ever at a BrandSource show — and five separate educational tracks providing deep dives on home furnishings, luxury appliances, digital marketing, service operations and HR best practices.
Dealers also packed an expanded Expo product floor where BrandSource members and vendor partners got down to business, and all attendees lauded a new BrandSource Scholarship Program that will help provide trade school educations to auspicious students in foster care.