Buying Groups Help Retailers Face New Challenges

By Dennis Shields, TRIB Group

Purchasing groups such as AVB affiliate TRIB Group (The Rental Industry Buying Group) combine the needs and leverage the negotiating strength of many retail companies and offer some very important benefits that help companies navigate an ever-changing marketplace.

Like traditional retail, rent-to-own (RTO) retailers are having to change and adapt to the new marketplace driven by digital purchasing. Being part of any buying group can help retailers’ band together and solve these challenges together.

We at TRIB Group are made up of multi-franchise operations and one shop businesses. Since 1983, TRIB Group has offered dealers of all sizes access to services, the best pricing, and the latest technologies that individual store locations could not negotiate on their own. We have grown and grown over the years and now represent over 3600 stores nationwide.

By combining the sales volume of our combined membership, TRIB Group provides savings based on forecast purchase volume of between 10 percent and 30 percent on many of the goods and services offered by Rent-to-Own dealers.  More than that, TRIB Group tracks the negotiated rebate and discount offers that we negotiate with suppliers, making sure that each member is fully receiving the benefits of the group buying power.  Through our system of reporting, we carefully audit purchases made by the group and in many cases, we catch errors and uncover money owed to retailers that could have easily been missed.

Our Rating Process Provides Transparency

Another benefit TRIB Group and other buying organizations achieve when they come together is the sharing of information about suppliers, products, technologies, and the market in general. TRIB Group provides a method of rating vendors so other members can learn about great experiences they have had or can honestly learn about any pitfalls they may have had and want to avoid. This type of information sharing improves relationships across the group, between vendors and members and expectations and experiences shared improves the sales process for everyone.

Memberships Sharing Information Achieves Results

At each of the two membership meetings and buy fair’s TRIB Group hosts, we present many networking events and educational and break-out sessions that encourage members to share best practices with all aspects of their business.  Tips on Marketing and sales, human resources issues, benefits, attracting talent are all topics that are covered. More effective best practices are shared and implemented, making each participating organization stronger and better prepared to face industry challenges.

In many cases, one dealer or group of dealers will try offering a new technology or non-traditional product line and will share the success or failure with our membership group. This information is invaluable to others in search of expanding product offerings.

Whatever your field, be it traditional retail or rent-to-own, look to buying groups to leverage volume purchasing and get the benefits of sharing information with other organizations.

Dennis Shields is Executive Director of TRIB Group, an affiliate of YSN publisher AVB Inc., and the nation’s largest owner/member buying cooperative serving the rent-to-own retail channel. For more information, visit www.tribgroup.com.