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From Home Furnishing Business

Nationwide, Mega Join Forces to Create Largest Buying Group

Influential buying groups Nationwide Marketing Group and Mega Group USA announced a merger this week, creating an organization with more than 5,300 independent retail members with combined revenues of about $18.5 billion.

Executives of the combined company, which will operate as Nationwide Marketing Group, said the merger with strengthen the independent retail channel by giving members even greater buying power and allowing them to compete with the likes of e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Wayfair and large national chains such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Mattress Firm and Rooms to Go.

Nationwide Chairman Dave Bilas will be chairman of the combined company, while Mega Group President Rick Bellows “will be an integral member of Nationwide Marketing Group’s leadership team,” according to a statement announcing the merger.

The company will maintain offices in Winston-Salem, N.C., where Nationwide is based, and Memphis, Tenn., where Mega is based.

“The culture of the groups has always been focused on the independent retailer’s growth and profitability,” said Bellows. “While national retailers struggle to deliver a differentiated shopping experience, our group’s members have been outpacing the industry and gaining share because they are uniquely aligned to serve customer’s needs.

“This merger will accelerate the independent movement with enhanced member benefits from the combination of the two leadership teams, purchasing scale, more consistent execution and strategically focused technology investment to drive greater awareness, traffic and volume through our member’s storefronts and online.”

Bilas said the merger also will give members more diversification of product categories and the opportunity to attend a much larger buying show.

“With Nationwide’s unmatched appliance volume and strength in consumer electronics, combined with Mega Group’s furniture and bedding advantages, members will have access to a greater merchandising mix to increase market awareness, traffic and profitable sales growth,” Bilas said. “Our February PrimeTime event promises to become the largest buying show, member conference, educational event, networking opportunity and product exhibition in the history of independent appliance, electronics, furniture and bedding retailing.”

Bilas said it will also benefit vendors of products and services by providing greater efficiencies in reaching members.

“This consolidation will result in efficiencies for our vendor and service providers that will lead to improved product and service offerings, greater speed to market with new innovations and improved focus of their investments to serve the important independent channel with its average selling prices that dwarf the national chains,” he said.

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