CE Pro May 2022 - 56

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TIPS | EDUCATION & EVENTS | DISTRIBUTION
ProSource Reunites
for Energetic Spring
Conference
Buying group shares message to 400
integrator attendees to 'Own It' and not
give back the market share they have
gained in the past year. By Jason Knott
THE LAST TIME MEMBERS
of ProSource gathered in
person was the second week
of March 2020. Two days
later, the entire world shut
down due to COVID-19
lockdowns. So needless to
say, the vibe at the busy
ProSource 2022 Spring
Conference was loaded with
high energy.
" This is almost like a family
reunion, " said Jim Ristow,
CEO of BrandSource/AVB,
the parent organization of
ProSource, as he spoke to
the group at the opening
State of the Industry presentation.
Ristow challenged
attendees to take control of
their local markets and not
give back any of the market
share they have gained over
the past year.
There are four distinct
groups within the BrandSource
buying group that
all gathered in Las Vegas in
early March. In addition to
the tech-focused ProSource
members, the meeting
gathered members from
the appliance and furnishings
world under the New
56 | CE Pro May 2022
England Appliance Group,
Intercounty Appliance Corp.,
and BrandSource.
" To say it has been a busy
year is an understatement, "
says Andy Orozco, vice president
of business development
for ProSource. " There
has been incredible consumer
demand, and vendors are
working hard on the supply
chain. It has been difficult
for CI dealers and they are
working hard to manage
their schedules. "
Speaking to the nearly
400 integrators and 200
vendors in attendance,
Orozco noted the theme of
this year's event is " Own It, "
and he told attendees, " By
being here that is exactly
what you are doing. "
Orozco cited some strong
data from ProSource members
in 2021, including an
overall sales volume increase
of 24% year over year. Also,
volume rebate transactions
with vendors were up
51% year over year for the
600-member ProSource
group. In all, 30 new members
joined and ProSource
BrandSource/AVB CEO Jim Ristow welcomed the group,
noting the " family reunion " vibe in Las Vegas.
and the buying group had a
98% retention rate.
" We have been on a wild
ride. Demand for luxury
items is insane. Rolls-Royce
had a record year. Go out
and try to buy a Rolex ...
you can't find them, " says
Orozco. Heading into 2022,
the group is " cautiously
optimistic. "
Orozco cited the still lingering
effects of COVID-19
on the market, coupled with
the tough labor market and
inflation, as big challenges.
He also expects housing
starts to remain at their
current levels of 1.6 million in
2022 and 2023.
" In this post-pandemic
economy, household savings
are strong, but we expect
consumer demand to moderate
later in the year. We
also see retail momentum
slowing down, with spending
shifting to services versus
goods, especially with the
supply chain still trying to
catch up, " he notes.
" We are definitely optimistic.
There will be growth
opportunities, but you need
to be strategic. Sales of big
TVs might be down, so you
might need to focus on bigscreen
OLED. Both audio
and electronics sales will
improve but not until later in
the year. Now is the time to
take action and 'own it' for
your own success. "
Sherry Dantonio, ProSource's
senior director of
education and member recruitment,
highlighted a busy
year for the group in terms
of expanding its training.
ProSource University
formed in 2020 just before
the pandemic with only 16
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CE Pro May 2022

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