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PRO Group gets down to business in Atlanta

Merchandising conference includes 32 member distributors meeting with 86 vendor partners.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Atlanta was the scene for PRO Group, Inc.’s recent Group Merchandising Conference.

Held at the Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park, the conference drew 32 member distributors and 86 vendor partners for more than 1,600, 30-minute scheduled appointments. Distributors and and vendors were able to forge new business relationships by discussing new products, taking advantage of conference specials and connecting at the numerous networking events, according to ProGroup.

“The GMC provides manufacturers with a venue to build relationships or reconnect with buyers from PRO Group member distributors from across the country,” said Shari Kalbach, vp at PRO Group. “The one-on-one meetings allow time for decision makers to explore the benefits and features of each supplier’s product offering.”

With meetings held in private suites, manufacturers were able to display new product lines and tailor show specials to the distributor buyer audience. It also allowed buyers firsthand interaction with products and to gain a deep knowledge of those product lines and promotional pricing.

First time attendee Sean Lorden, president at Rafferty Wholesale mentioned the conference will open countless opportunities for his business. “I attended my first PRO Group GMC and what a game changer. The representatives I met from various organizations were very professional and enlightening as to what their companies’ offerings were. I truly believe joining PRO Group will open up more business opportunities than I could have imagined.”

In addition to the scheduled meetings, manufacturers and distributors had the opportunity to meet at the networking and farewell receptions in an informal setting. This allowed members to touch base even if they did not have a scheduled appointment.

“The mix of both business and social interaction across such a large and regionally dispersed array of distributor members for the time and expense of a single trip makes PRO Group’s GMC a great value for our business,” said Darrin Purcell, president and CEO at Century Drill and Tool.

The meeting closed with a PRO Hardware Merchandise Committee Meeting where distributors shared which programs represented the best opportunities for growth.

“The energy that was felt during this year’s GMC will hopefully translate into increased sales at the distributors’ fall shows and retailers will have new and exciting products to promote to their customers,” said Kalbach.

PRO Group, Inc. is a multidivisional international merchandising and marketing organization with corporate headquarters in Denver, Colo. The company’s operating units include PRO Hardware, GardenMaster, FARM MART and GOLDEN-LINK. With more than 79 distributors operating over 140 distribution centers serving all 50 states, the Group’s combined sales volume exceeds $6 billion through its member distributors and an alliance with the VAL-TEST Group.

 

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