Nationwide Execs State Priorities for 2015
• Frank Sandtner, senior VP of member services, reported 500 dealer signups were achieved for the Just Say Yes initiative, which helps dealers become effective digital marketers. The program’s participating brands number rose from 13 last year to 31 in 2015, and now includes six CE vendors and some furniture companies. The group has also added financial services company Synchrony Financial to the brand roster. The program is being extended to include an in-store component to create an across-the-board, consistent branding message for dealers, he said.
• Tom Hickman, senior VP of electronics, said the group’s “wheelhouse” remains premium electronics that appeal to early adopters – an emphasis that has a “halo effect on premium appliance and bedding purchases. There’s tons of innovation, and we’re encouraging our guys to get in on it.” While the audio market industrywide is in a flat sales mode, Hickman said Nationwide’s dealers are up 17 percent. In the television category, “UPPs (Unilateral Pricing Policies) are helping, and we see those going further and deeper in vendors lines.”
He also said that industry veteran Hank Alexander had been named director for the group’s Specialty Electronics Nationwide (SEN) subdivision.
• Patrick Maloney, senior VP of appliances, said the group would focus on opportunities created both by the changes at Sears and by the huge appliance replacement cycle about to commence, based on the impending obsolescence of some 47 million appliances sold in 2005. Nationwide dealers, because they emphasize the premium-product sale, he said, are at an advantage, and achieve “16 to 18 percent higher ASPs than the industry… We’re putting together marketplace messaging that speaks to that consumer.” He said that 2014 research showed 59 percent of consumers still buy under duress. “People don’t wait for July 4th when something breaks.”
Introduced at the conference was Derek Mattila, named director of appliances.