Doug Spotts, a tall wiry figure who wears a cowboy hat when he’s doing business, has owned his appliance store in Hughesville, Pa., since 1983. He’s a technician turned retailer, a man who knows both the bare inner workings of a front loading washing machine and the secrets of selling them with “a little glamour, a little dazzle,” as he put it.
As a member of the Nationwide Marketing Group, the country’s largest appliance, consumer electronics and furniture buying group, Spotts flew to the group’s semi-annual meeting, PrimeTime, in Orlando this February with the intention of talking one-on-one with reps from Whirpool and asking them some tough questions about their 2006 acquisition of Maytag.
“I was concerned about the buyout,” Spotts said. “I want to make sure the new Maytag products will have a good look and that Whirlpool will support the brand. I know that inside the white cabinet it’s all the same thing, but my customers want to see some style.”