From Home Furnishing Business
Nationwide Launches Connected Home Division
Nationwide Marketing Group has announced the launch of Nationwide Connected Home, the first connected home division dedicated exclusively to the independent retailer.
"Connected devices are everywhere – from phones and appliances to thermostats, televisions, speakers and even adjustable beds," said Tom Hickman, president and chief member advocate. "But while the opportunities to connect are numerous, consumers are struggling to make this new technology really work for them in a cohesive fashion. Nationwide Connected Home will give our members and vendor partners the resources and support they need to move the connected home experience from a novelty to a necessity."
Nationwide first partnered with Nest Labs and Google in 2017, providing its independent retailers with exclusive access to Google Nest's entire line of thermostats, entertainments, security and home assistance devices. Nationwide then announced an exclusive partnership with AT&T in February 2019, giving its members the ability to sell home internet, DIRECTV, and cellular phone service and devices direct to consumers.
Nationwide Connected Home will build on these partnerships, helping the independent channel further differentiate itself from big-box retailers by delivering the coordinated product offering, world-class training and unparalleled customer service that's lacking at chain stores, Hickman said.
"Connectivity is going to be the next battleground for premium retail," Hickman added. "We are the only group positioned to connect all of these divergent pieces and create an unmatched in-store experience that benefits both our members and our vendor partners."
Nationwide has showcased a connected home display at its last four PrimeTime trade shows, an experience that will create the foundation for future member merchandising efforts.
"Many of today's mainstream connected home products have been focused on the early DIY adopters and DIY retail channels, but today's consumers want – and deserve – more guidance on how to make better use of all the smart products available in the marketplace," said Derek Mattila, vice president of merchandising for Nationwide Marketing Group, who will lead the company's connected home effort. "The move to 5G will speed wireless connections, making device usage easier and spurring growth of the connected home movement. We're excited to help our members prepare now to create a best-in-class experience for their customers and capture a share of what promises to be a multi-billion-dollar industry."