New England Group’s Balzano Named a Top Industry Merchant

By Andy Kriege, YSN

Rob Balzano, executive director of merchandising for AVB affiliate New England Appliance & Electronics Group (NEAEG), was recently honored by Dealerscope magazine as one of the industry’s “Most Influential Buyers” of 2020.

Criteria for the contenders included “those indispensable individuals who possess an uncanny instinct for hunting down the winningest lines, models and vendors to carry that are key to their operations success.” In addition to buying prowess, consideration was also given to the nominees’ people skills, as they relate to their respective teams. 

Balzano joins a short list of five other purchasing managers who represent a “who’s who” of the nation’s top appliance and electronics retailers.

NEAEG’s Rob Balzano

“I was really honored when Dealerscope contacted me for this award,” he told YSN. “It was humbling to see my friends and colleagues take the time to nominate me.”

Balzano began his career as a teenager working in his dad’s appliance store. After more than two decades in retail he joined a Sub-Zero distributor where he advanced from rep to director of training. He returned to his independent retail roots in 2009 by joining NEAEG, a chapter of the mighty NECO Alliance buying group that has since doubled its business and boasts some 162 member stores.

As Dealerscope reported, Balzano largely attributes his success to his “drive to constantly evolve, better myself, and better those around me”— and measures that success by the success of those around him.

Congratulations Rob on winning this merchandising award, made even more impressive by a pandemic that made just finding product a job unto itself!

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, home furnishings and CE dealers.