Ristow Delivers Rousing Kickoff Address at Summit 2020

By Alan Wolf, YSN

An enthusiastic Jim Ristow officially kicked off Summit 2020 this morning in a rousing State of the Union address that began with a review of AVB’s industry-leading accomplishments and positioned the group for more in the months and years to come.

Taking the stage in his typically spirited style, the AVB CEO welcomed Canadian cousin and first-time attendee Mega Group, and cited a series of recent milestones for BrandSource and its custom integration affiliate ProSource.

Among them: another banner year for benefit distribution, event participation, and sales and member growth at ProSource, and the fourth consecutive year of share gains for BrandSource members, who continue to outpace the bedding, appliance and home furnishings industries.

Driving those gains were innovations like AVB University, an online educational portal; AVB Marketing’s next-gen Alta 360 websites, which are delivering a 30 percent increase in traffic; and the Heavy Hitters program, which provides on-site training and inspiration for hundreds of rising sales stars at BrandSource’s fall Conventions.

Taking it to the next level, Ristow pressed on with a new slate of initiatives, including a smart-home program for BrandSource members built on smart appliances and supplemented with Google Nest products through Expert Warehouse, and installation and tech support services from ProSource members and Allstate. As part of the strategy, and to further AVB’s showroom remodeling effort, the group is introducing a kitchen vignette solution to help dealers effectively showcase appliance packages and demo their connected-home features.

Building on the BrandSource/ProSource partnership, AVB is also rolling out a health insurance program for BrandSource members dubbed GAIN that was pioneered by ProSource to provide quality healthcare at significant savings by pooling risk across multiple organizations and tens of thousands of participants nationwide.

Similarly, AVB is pooling its own resources so that BrandSource, ProSource and Mega Group can each share their unique strengths and capabilities, Ristow said, and is leveraging the size and scale of the largest group of independent dealers in North America to provide common services like financing, marketing and truck leases with advantageous terms for members.

Finally, hearkening back to the Summit’s theme of “Tomorrow Starts Today,” Ristow urged attendees to move past fear and inaction, and begin taking the definitive steps now — utilizing all the tools and resources in AVB’s arsenal — that will assure a successful future.

YSN is owned and published by AVB.