Buying Groups Share the Power
The dynamics influencing the consumer electronics and major appliance markets last year were particularly volatile, forcing many retailers to reassess their reasons for being and to redefine what it is that keeps them in business. The industry’s buying groups, at the same time, have stepped up to the plate as much more than mere merchandise conduits. Their role has dramatically expanded and they are now, more than ever, acting as advisors, educators and trainers for their membership. Below, we explore how some of the major groups are working to better serve members in this increasingly charged retail atmosphere.
DEALERSCOPE: Talk a bit in general about your group’s current positioning among the type of membership it serves, and how that may have changed in the last year—or not changed.
Richard Glikes: The last six months have shown us that we have to re-invent ourselves again. Basically, we need to move away from a video-centric model into a more diverse model—a wider palette. My theme for 2007 is ‘re-invention.’ Included in that is the necessity for us to have greater furniture offerings and be more adept at lighting and certainly at control, which is a very important part of what we’re going to be doing, as we go forward. Those are our three big hot buttons.