Nationwide’s August PrimeTime event in Orlando was jam-packed with new partnerships, new programs, and new initiatives. With so much going on, keeping track of all the major news and innovations was a challenge. But, we did the legwork and have consolidated some of the most pertinent information from the event into one place.
There is no better way to understand how independent retailers stand to benefit from these new programs than to hear it from the people who put them together. Below are a few snippets of exclusive interviews with members of the buying group’s leadership team highlighting a broad scope of initiatives. These include a new distributor partnership with Powerhouse Alliance, a veterans’ apprenticeship program in conjunction with the Department of Labor and a suite of financial services offered through Wells Fargo.
Nationwide Marketing Group works with more than 5,000 independent appliance, furniture, bedding, electronics, specialty electronics, custom installation, and rent-to-own dealers across the United States to give independent retailers the market power to compete with large chains.
DS: What is the current market outlook for the custom integration business?
Hank Alexander, Director of HTSN at Nationwide: “Our custom integration business is very healthy. We’re up like 16% year-over-year and projects continue to flow. I think we’re starting to sense that the craziness of 2021 is starting to calm down. It’s not that it’s contracting. It’s more that it’s starting to get back to more of a normal flow.”
DS: What new partnerships are you most excited about for your custom integrators?
Hank Alexander: “The relationship with Powerhouse Alliance. It really fills out our distributor network and allows us to expand our CI network and reach even further… No matter where you’re at, whether it’s Davenport, Iowa, Denver, Colorado or Miami, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got access to a great distributor network for product.”
DS: Are there any new hiring programs that your members can take advantage of?
Mark Pollitz, National Director of SLN at Nationwide: “At Nationwide and Service Leaders Network. We have taken the last six months to become a registered sponsor of a Department of Labor apprenticeship program called ‘route residential and commercial appliance technology.’ The value of being a registered program is that we’ve already done all the legwork for our members and they don’t have to go through the process. They can simply come to us we will guide them through the process of registering within their state to get access to three to four areas of government funding.”
DS: What are the benefits for members in being a part of this labor program?
Mark Pollitz: “You’ve got veterans’ benefits. You’ve got employer tax credits. You’ve got wage compensation, and you’ve got training funding available. Those are the things that our tax dollars pay for, but very few people take advantage of because it’s rather complex. We’ve taken that piece of complexity and made it simpler for our members.”
DS: From a financial services perspective, what are some of the programs right now that you are most proud of?
Chris Kirk, VP of Member & Financial Services at Nationwide: “We work closely with our manufacturer partners ranging from GE, Whirlpool, Samsung, Electrolux all the way down the battery manufacturers. We work with merchants to buy down those rates for members. On top of that, we have a great adoption of them on Wells Fargo and the Synchrony Financial program.”
DS: Can you run me through the details of the partnership you guys have with Wells Fargo?
Chris Kirk: “Yeah, so there are three parts to Wells Fargo. First, you have the inventory finance piece, which is helping members pay off different products that they purchase here at the show over 60, 90 or 120 days. So, it helps those members who are buying products by scheduling out payments for them. Then, you have the impact going out the door as well. So the consumer finance piece is the 12-month, 18-month no interest programs. Finally, the last piece is credit card processing. We have negotiated rates so that whenever a customer swipes their credit card inside our member’s store whether it be Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, all those programs fall under that merchant services banner.”