One of the biggest challenges that independent retailers face today when they’re up against big box stores is that they don’t have any competitive advantage from a product perspective.
That’s according to Mike Derro, vice president of furniture and bedding at Nationwide Marketing Group.
The FAM caught up with Derro during Nationwide’s PrimeTime event in early February to talk about a new private label product line from TSI, Sherwood, and Nationwide.
The line is called Encore and Derro says the mattress program should solve some of the raw materials issues that may have prevented smaller manufacturers from being able to deliver.
“By being able to partner with TSI, if there are any raw material challenges in the future, retailers are backed by one of the largest manufacturers that just happens to be a private label called Encore.”
He adds that MAP pricing can have advantages and disadvantages. MAP pricing is the same for everybody, but a lot of manufacturers will provide those products to their bigger retailers first and independent retailers last.
“Encore comes in at high-velocity price points, $1,000 and below,” Derro says, “Which, even though the average ticket has increased dramatically, the number of units that are being sold below $1,000 is still very, very high and it’s actually increased in the U.S. because of tariffs.”
Retailers are also carrying more inventory now, with one retailer at PrimeTime saying he went from carrying $50,000 in inventory to $350,000.
Derro says this dovetails with Encore because the two most important words in marketing right now are “in stock.”
“The retailers that have stock and are promoting that on the floor, they move product,” he says. “And so we want the retailer to be able to have the majority of what they carry on their floor in stock.”
Mark Chase, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Sherwood Bedding—which operates five manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and is a leader in private label mattress programs—says, “This is a total program, not just a collection of beds. We have created six different collections under Encore that range from opening price points all the way up to hybrids, a strong memory foam offering and roll pack bedding. Every bed comes with a full suite of marketing assets so the Nationwide member will have everything they need to build value in their new exclusive offering from Encore.”
The Encore line is exclusive to Nationwide members and is available today.