AVB’s merchandising chief Chad Evans delivers welcome news at Summit.
By Alan Wolf, YSN
In his Summit 21 merchandising address, AVB’s merchandising VP Chad Evans had good news for inventory-lean dealers: relief is on the way.
Evans pointed to wholesale and sell-through statistics that showed factory shipments exceeding retail sales in December, January and February for furniture and appliances. That indicates that the industry is chipping away at backorders, and that deliveries will get progressively better —and are already nearly back to normal for bedding.
Still, hiccups remain, particularly in refrigeration, where supplies could remain tight through the balance of the year. Conversely, laundry and certain dishwasher and cooking categories will likely recover more quickly, Evans said.
Speaking of stats, Evans had more good news for BrandSource members, who took share from their big-box and independent channel competitors last year. The pattern continued into 2021, with BrandSource’s wholesale shipments and retail sales still outperforming the appliance and furniture industries.
Evans said the group is well-positioned to continue its lead, having adapted to the “new retail paradigm” that pushed 2030 shopping patterns into the present. Members excel at such critical functions as omni-channel commerce, customer service, returns, in-stock notification, community support and the in-store experience, which will assure their dominance in the marketplace, he said.
Members can add further fuel to the fire by utilizing AVB Marketing’s new digital tab bundles and tying them into BrandSource’s monthly promotions, which will put them on par with the national big-box stores, Evans noted. He also urged dealers to supercharge their websites with in-stock flags, payment gateways and attachment sales at checkout.
But perhaps the most important strategy, he added, is to plan ahead and “adjust as necessary,” because one of BrandSource members’ greatest proven strengths is their nimbleness and ability to adapt to a changing retail landscape.
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.