NEAG’s Arthur Redding
Arthur Redding succeeds Steve Moran
By Andy Kriege, YSN
Arthur Redding, owner of Hudson Appliance in Hudson, Mass., and a longtime board director of the New England Appliance Group (NEAG), was elected president of the BrandSource affiliate earlier this year.
Redding has long recognized the importance to independent retailers of belonging to a buying group. In fact, he credits NEAG with keeping his business viable for nearly 40 years.
“I joined around 1985, 1986,” he said. “They had a brand new warehouse at the time and probably about 30 members. The group was able to give me the pricing and the tools I needed, which allowed me to fight the big box stores. Without them, I would not have made it this far.”
NEAG has come a long way since then, when its annual sales volume was well under $100 million. It has since mushroomed to over $600 million and the membership has grown more than four-fold to 130 dealers.
Redding assumed his new presidential post after his friend, colleague and predecessor Steve Moran announced his retirement after nearly two decades at the NEAG helm. “Steve and I have always been very close and have worked extremely well together over the years,” Redding said. “We share much of the same philosophy in that we both really want the members to succeed.”
While Redding hated to see his friend go, he wishes him happiness in his retirement. “Steve did a wonderful job as president; he deserves to step back and take more time to relax,” he said.
Redding does not anticipate making any major changes in his new role. “We have a really good foundation here,” he said. “This group was way ahead of its time when it was founded and I intend to build upon our previous successes. We are always on the lookout for the ‘next best thing.’ Our goal is to constantly improve and strive to stay ahead of the curve.”
One area Redding would like to address is the group’s ability to communicate all that it offers to members. “While we have always done a good job in doing this, I would like to make it even better,” he said. “We need to really push our members to get more engaged in the technology that is available to all of them.”
Redding said he is confident that if members embrace these new services, it will help them be even more competitive and make their businesses run smoother.
While Redding considers himself very direct and never shy about voicing his opinions, he is also very approachable. “As their president, I am here for the members 24/7,” he said. “They can call me anytime and talk to me about anything. I will take their call and be happy to talk.”
NEAG isn’t the only entity to come a long way during Redding’s tenure. His company has also grown markedly over the past 50 years. Redding has literally spent his entire adult life running the showroom he started on Main Street and named after his hometown. In fact, just after graduating from high school in 1972, he opened the doors to what was then a TV and stereo shop. He eventually entered the appliance business and has since added grills, ACs, plumbing fixtures and mattresses to the mix.
In the early days, Hudson consisted of a 575-square-foot showroom cramed with TVs, home audio equipment and car stereos. Within two years he expanded to 1,110 square feet of space and added appliances. He eventually bought the building next door and occupied all three of its storefronts, for a total of 6,000 square feet. Then, after some 30 years, he purchased and renovated another adjacent building in 2009, bringing Hudson Appliance up to its present size of 12,500 square feet.
YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.