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Nationwide RentDirect Buying Group Records Record Attendance; Buying Show Kicks Off Today
08-21-06
RTO Online - The rent to own industry's trade website
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Year-to-date sales of LCD televisions have increased 144% over last year and plasma sets are pacing ahead of last year’s figures by 112%.

Ed Kelly (left), President of Nationwide Marketing Group and Dennis Willich, Director of Nationwide Southwest at Sunday's PrimeTime Kickoff. See more photos here. RTO Online will podcast interviews from Primetime Monday and Tuesday.

The featured speaker at tonight’s Nationwide RentDirect meeting, author Jason Jennings, claims to have researched more than 72,000 different companies to find what makes them successful. 2,000 attendees of the Nationwide RentDirect show listened to Jennings explain his five discoveries shared by the most successful companies.

Successful companies...
Have a cause that’s about more than just money
Master the art of letting go of old ways to do business
Figure out how to completely satisfy the right customer
Get all employees to think and act like owners
Have leaders that are stewards, selecting service over self-interest

The RentDirect Advisory Council meeting met Sunday with Executive Director James MacAlpine to get up-to-speed on new developments and review findings from the recent RTO Finance meeting in Dallas, Texas (see story).

Council members discussed how lending institutions view rental income as “non-obligatory” since customers can return the merchandise at any time. Rental income can’t be placed on a traditional balance sheet, making RTO finances even more difficult for uneducated bankers to understand.

RentDirect is working on ways to remedy this situation, and have offered such suggestions as having credible and objective third-parties prepare historical and statistical data supporting the key metrics of the RTO business. This would help provide more adequate appraisals and valuations of independent RTO dealers’ businesses.

advertise here

The Advisory Council also learned that RentDirect had made good on an earlier goal of getting furniture into the Warehouse Direct partners that now house electronics and appliances. RentDirect members can now combine electronic, appliance and furniture inventory into a single shipment, saving on freight costs.

Nationwide Marketing Group executives and staff at Sunday's PrimeTime Kickoff.

Later, a General Session was held for the group with updates from various departments within RentDirect. Members learned more about Steve Bryant’s Masters Method of Sales Training, a self-paced or group training program available at no charge to RentDirect members. A new rewards program is being introduced to go along with the training program – MemberNet REWARDS will allow employees of RentDirect members to redeem points for great prizes like trips, jewelry or golf clubs, for completing various segments of the program.

RentDirect’s new fixture program was also shown, and group executives claim a double-digit sales increase is typical after the new fixtures are installed in a rental store.

Trends in electronics and furniture were discussed. Year-to-date sales of LCD televisions have increased 144% over last year and plasma sets are pacing ahead of last year’s figures by 112%. Sales of projection sets are flat. Nationwide predicts the majority of consumers will own an LCD television in 2-3 years.

In the upholstered furniture area, micro fibers will continue to be an important part of the RTO mix, but coming on strong are new textures like chenille and velvet. Bold upholstery color is also making a comeback.

In case goods, ethnic styling is a big trend as are home entertainment wall systems designed for today’s electronics. Television consoles for 60” sets are coming on strong, too. One of the biggest trends in casual dining is counter/gathering height seating, which now makes up more than 50% of the casual dining market.

David P. David (left), Full o Pep, Cindy Ferguson, APRO, and Brian Rosen, Florida State Games, at the Nationwide welcome reception Sunday evening.

RentDirect members have access to an online adFactory that allows them to customize professionally-designed flyers, doorhangers and more. The Nationwide Communication Center offers a complete series of high-definition television commercials using the highest production values that can all be customized with a local dealers name and logo.

Another exciting but little-known benefit is RentDirect’s MemberNet TV. MemberNet streams HD content and programming directly to a rent to own company's video wall, allowing hi-definition sets to be displayed at their best resolution. MemberNet is completely customizable and can be programmed to include movie clips, vendor spotlight segments and custom television commercials.

Ed Winn from APRO gave an update on the status of the industry from the association’s perspective, giving high marks to RentDirect saying “Nationwide impresses me and continues to impress me more and more.” He went on to express the importance of joining APRO to help support industry-wide legislation efforts. In Winn’s words, “The preacher fights the devil. APRO fights legal aid lawyers.”

The “I Am Nationwide” meeting continues tomorrow with the opening of Nationwide RentDirect’s two-day trade show.

RTO Online will post updates, podcasts and photo galleries throughout the show. Check www.rtoonline.com for updates.

 

 

 

RTO Online is the official channel for Rent-to-Own Industry News and the only independent source of news for the rent-to-own, rental-purchase, lease-purchase trade. RTO Online (Rent to Own Online) represents the choice of the entire RTO Industry for trusted information, as it happens.

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