By Alan Wolf
BrandSource’s bi-annual Conventions have been the traditional platform for launching new programs and innovations, and last month’s 2019 Convention & Expo didn’t disappoint.
Befitting this year’s 50th anniversary of BrandSource parent AVB, the Dallas show was brimming with initiatives designed to carry the group and its members into the next 50 years of success.
Chief among the Convention announcements was LINQ4U, a new service designed to keep member sites up to date with the latest merchandising programs. As AVB CEO Jim Ristow explained during his General Session kickoff, proactive merchandising through AVB’s LINQ portal keeps online pricing and promotions current and in lockstep with in-store efforts, and allows members to present their most popular products on their e-commerce catalog pages. But for dealers without a dedicated digital staffer, LINQ4U will do it all for you, including a one-time set-up on LINQ for $500, and continuous merchandising of member sites for $400 per month.
Also introduced at the show was an all-new and on-demand AVB University. The online educational series, created in partnership with celebrated Cardone University, offers the most comprehensive independent retail business training available to BrandSource buying group dealers. The newly developed program, available in three tiers including a complimentary Open Program, is designed to super-charge members’ sales teams, provide invaluable product training from top 10 vendors, and offer helpful how-to’s on the use of AVB’s LINQ and Backroom merchandising and member portals.
Another breakthrough initiative is a turnkey TV program to help members enter or return to the TV category. TV can be profitable once again thanks to jumbo screen sizes, 8K resolution and advance display technologies, and this new video initiative, developed with Samsung, ProSource and Expert Warehouse, will make it easy for members to add Samsung’s award-winning QLED models to their mix.
Ristow also used the General Session forum to announce the launch of YourSourceNews.com, a news and information website for BrandSource members and the industries they participate in. Along with a weekly digital newsletter, the platform is designed to help members succeed in the marketplace by keeping them in the know and ahead of the curve in the ever-changing world of retail.
On a more personal note, the group formally debuted the BrandSource Hall of Fame, newly created to honor members, vendors and other prominent figures for their lifetime of achievement within the group and the industry. Honored at the inaugural ceremony was Ron Bemis of Bemis Appliance; John Horst of Famous Tate Appliance & Bedding Centers; and Bill Pleasants Sr. of Plaza Appliance Mart, who were commended for their commitment to their fellow members and to independent retail.
YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.