Forno is one of more than 40 premium brands comprising BrandSource’s LUXE contingent.

Group’s LUXE initiative was a hit at Nashville show

By Andy Kriege, YSN

BrandSource is continuing its push to make the luxury appliance space a top priority, and announced several initiatives at this week’s Convention 2023 in Nashville to help members capture more of the high-end market.

To fully leverage the segment’s opportunities, BrandSource developed a dedicated LUXE initiative and has expanded its strategic vendor partnerships to include over 40 premium brands, including such popular badges as Dacor, Fisher & Paykel, Forno, JennAir, Miele, Monogram, Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS), Thermador, Thor and Zline. Many of these manufactures were at the show to discuss their products and the opportunities they offer directly with members.

The push towards luxury appliance has been reflected in the group’s 330% increase in ultra-premium catalog listings over the past year-and-a-half. That’s helped to make BrandSource a dominant player in the high-margin category. As AVB’s COO Dave Meekings noted in his Main Stage presentation, “We are now the dominant player in the luxury space. We have the best tools in the industry like HUP, KIOSQ and our state-of-the-art websites that target and capture the luxury customer. No other platform offers all the tools necessary to drive the sophisticated sales process that luxury sales require. On top of that, we have dramatically increased our luxury catalog; it is truly a game changer.” 

Also driving AVB’s luxe ascendancy are its retail financing, vendor discounts and range of other retail technology tools like SYNC that provide the upscale purchase experience and sophisticated service levels that high-end shoppers expect.

As part of the LUXE initiative, a panel of premium vendors was assembled at Convention to advise those dealers already in the luxury space as well as those considering a foray into the category. Chad Evans, AVB’s vice president of merchandising, moderated the session and posed questions ranging from from where the luxury market is headed to why it might make sense to enter that business.

The LUXE vendor panel included, from left, Monogram’s Julie Burns, Arvind Veershetty of Jenn-Air, Dacor’s Geraldine Morrison, Brant Coyne of ZLine, Mike O’Keefe of Signature Kitchen Suite and Chris Kaeser of BSH.

There was a consensus among the panelists that offering even a small package of luxury appliances elevates the entire customer experience of shopping your store. In addition, super-premium appliances deliver higher margins to retailers, and the customers who buy them are typically less impacted by the inflationary constraints of today’s marketplace.

There was also an insightful discussion regarding a potential shift away from gas cooking due to government regulations and the impact that would have and the opportunities it might present, such increased interest in induction cooking. There was also talk of popular trends in the industry, including colors and finishes.  

“We were excited to assemble some of top executives from a great cross section of vendors,” Evans said. “We are also working diligently to add new features and content to the online catalogs for luxury brands to leverage our marketing prowess.” He noted that AVB will be running several “test-and-learn” marketing campaigns over the next several months to help drive brand and category awareness.

Evans added that Convention 2023 was a great place to make connections for those considering the luxury segment. “Given the fact that some luxury brands are being very stringent in their dealer distribution strategies, sessions like these open up a host of alternative opportunities with some lesser known, yet up-and-coming brands to develop relationships and ultimately expand your luxury reach,” he said.

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

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