The NECO Alliance group held its annual Expo for the second year in a row at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino this week, attracting over 1,400 attendees. Presented to the membership was a host of buying opportunities underpinned with an exhortation to them to view their businesses with a fresh eye – and a willingness to adapt, in the face of what Executive Director Anthony Bruno suggested to attendees is a barrage of challenges to their well being.
Bruno cited a healthy 2019 overall for membership, with $2 billion in annual retail sales and a fourth year in a row of record growth. But he noted that dealers would do well to heed numerous factors that could both directly and indirectly affect their businesses. “With more manufacturers selling direct to consumers, the warehouse clubs, [the influence of] social media, and changing consumer demographics,” he said, “you need a plan that adapts for all that.”
To that end, this 484-member group representing 560 storefronts was asked by Bruno to reflect on “what your story is – it’s your store, your culture, your DNA that makes you exceptional as entrepreneurs. With today’s challenging retail environment, you need to look at your plan to sell assorted models with the highest margins, and decide which brands support your culture and your business model.”