Buying group Mega Group USA, with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, brought together hundreds of independent retailers at its 2017 MEGA Spring Convention in March in New Orleans.
Businesses came from as far away as Ephrata, Washington, to participate in training, see new products firsthand and meet new vendors, the group said in a news release.
President Rick Bellows spoke to the group about opportunities ahead for independent retailers, focusing on digital. “It is a primary lever retailers need to pull now in order to take their piece of the open share. The appliance and home furnishings industries are as exciting as they have ever been. For the first time in over 20 years, the opportunities that lay ahead for the independent retailer are tremendous,” he said.
During the convention, more than 40 breakout sessions were featured with experts across various industries. Bedding stores began their day with Mattress University led by Mark Kinsley, staff vice president of marketing for Leggett & Platt Inc.’s Bedding Group; followed by Gerry Morris, a longstanding consultant in the category and a regular contributor to BedTimes’ sister publication Sleep Savvy; and they heard from David Perry, executive editor of Furniture Today.
Mega Group also introduced two new categories to the membership. Icon Health and Fitness and Saratoga Spas are the new partners. Other events included keynotes from George Anderson of Synchrony Financial and Kevin Lao of Google, Mega’s annual golf tournament, a member-exclusive open house at Mattress Direct, hot deals during Mega Madness and a final reception, which included a retirement send-off to Jim Sendrak, the former head of consumer electronics and marketing.
Attendees also had chances to win multiple giveaways of merchandise, cash and gift cards. David and Brandise Wilkins from Batesville, Arkansas, owners of David’s Home and Sleep Center, won a new Audi A3 sedan courtesy of Serta Simmons Bedding LLC. Dak Sorenson of Sorenson’s Appliance in Geneva, Minnesota, along with three friends, will be attending Game One of the 2017 World Series—all expenses paid—thanks to Whirlpool Corp.