By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Last month was the time for Buying Group Shows, and the events were awesome! Nationwide kicked off first in Vegas, followed by BrandSource in Orlando and Mega in Dallas.
More than 2 million people were in Vegas during NMG’s show—thank goodness only 4,300 were at the event at the Sands Convention Center. Their largest show to date. The tempo was upbeat and buying was at a frenzied pace. Whirlpool unveiled their new line up of Maytag products and a new Maytag vacuum line. Also, new to NMG were outdoor products both in BBQ and furniture. Many manufacturers introduced new OLED and 4k products along with all of the toys to help with installation and integration. NMG also hinted on a headliner for their next show in Nashville, but more to come on who that will be soon. In general, every vendor and dealer I spoke with were very excited about this year and the changes in the economy.
As usual, the BrandSource event in Orlando was no Mickey Mouse affair. Outdoor Source has grown tremendously as well as HES, their home integration and electronics division. Joe Higgins who recently retired from Whirlpool gave a very well received Keynote (second year in a row) reviewing his projections from last year which were spot on and his future projections. I was very impressed. I am writing this before attending the MEGA show but I expect it to be as equally exciting.
On a sad note, John Colbert who has led the charge for Crosley Appliance and has been a good friend to many of us, passed away before the first day of the BrandSource show, falling ill the day before the event. He will be greatly missed by everyone he touched through his many years of dedication and service in our industry.