BrandSource’s Lawrence: ‘Never A Better Time’ to be an Independent
BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence called on his group’s membership to seize on market trends that increasingly favor independent dealers and their strengths by embracing change through seeking logical expansions of their category selection and responding to the new shopping and product research behaviors of the mobile-device-equipped consumer.
Besides providing dealers with networking opportunities and chances to interact with suppliers and their peers face to face, at the heart of what was offered to members attending the buying group’s Convention & Expo this week in Las Vegas were solutions for combating what Lawrence characterized as the biggest issue confronting independent CE and appliance dealers – price and margin deterioration. He said those trends necessitate “selling more product to get to the numbers we need.” He encouraged the membership to “think, feel and act like a group,” and to support group-tailored programs that make sense for their businesses, which will help BrandSource increase its collective clout with manufacturers. But he warned against being “a poster child for manufacturers who want us to promote low-margin programs.”
Lawrence told attendees, “There’s never been a better time to be an independent.” He said now was the moment to take advantage of strategic “confusion” at the box stores, citing their tendencies to compete solely on price and to treat customers as commodities as signs that big-box retailing was in its “sunset.”