Rothfest Combines Good Deals with Good Times
Ramsey, NJ-based CE distributor M. Rothman & Co. held it’s 10th annual dealer show at it’s headquarters September 23 and 24, this time dubbing it Rothfest and offering attendees free concerts. About 1,500 people were expected at the two-day event.
The idea behind Rothfest, said associate vice president Stephen Bodnarchuk, was two-fold: to show appreciation to the dealers as well as increase awareness of 4th-quarter promotions. “It’s a selling show,” he said.
The selling part involved the manufacture showroom, which was lined with vendors such as Pioneer, LG, Universal Remote Control, Audiovox, Toshiba, Omnimount, JVC and others. Dealers browsed the 30-plus vendor displays, checked out new products, and placed orders.
The appreciation part of the show came in the form of two free concerts held out on the lawn. On September 23rd, the Subdudes performed, while September 24th attendees were treated to Little Feat. Pioneer sponsored the concert, while a Rothman customer, Boulevard Pro (which does both professional and residential A/V installations) ran the sound system. Out behind the warehouse dealers could sit down to a catered dinner and bar.
The mood among dealers was upbeat, though it was hard to ignore the affect the current economic news was having on the industry. Bodnarchuk suggested that dealers who focus on service and flexibility will be in a better place once the economy settles down. “When you talk about flat panels, you don’t just talk about the TV. You talk about add-on sales, whether that’s a Blu-ray player, HDMI cable, universal remote, you really need those add-ons because you are not only helping yourself with margins and gross dollars, your also servicing the customer,” he said.
Bodnarchuk pointed out that manufactures are coming up with more programs to help dealers. “We’ve had a lot of manufacture support with additional programs, additional incentives ... so manufactures are keeping us close because if there happens to be a fallout with inventory we’re sometimes the best avenue for them to get rid of inventory without disrupting the market.”