Brand Source this week commemorated the 40th anniversary of its founding, at its annual National Convention and Buying Fair in Las Vegas, where it announced that it would expand its six-year-old Expert Warehouse program to include appliances. The group is also in the beta testing phase of an Expert Warehouse Customer Service Portal that will, when it officially launches within two weeks, be a “one-stop automated system for members to manage all the reverse logistics of instant rebates,” according to Jim Ristow, vice president for consumer electronics and head of the group’s Home Entertainment Source (HES) division.
Bob Lawrence, the group’s CEO, revealed the appliance expansion program has so far garnered the participation of Whirlpool, G.E. and Electrolux and will roll out in phases, beginning Jan. 1 with the Upper Northeast U.S. quadrant.
“What we did for CE will be industry-changing for appliances,” he said. The goal, he added, “is to mirror or better” manufacturer-direct programs, pricing, policies and returns and allow dealers to mix authorized appliance brands with consumer electronics brands to help them more easily meet freight minimums. The change will be supported with the use of current and new facilities to accommodate the increase in inventory, he said.