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P.C. Richard, Abt Rejoin NATM

By Alan Wolf -- TWICE, 2/24/2010

Smithtown, N.Y. - P.C. Richard & Son and Abt Electronics will rejoin the NATM Buying Corp., effective March 1.

The retailers will add about $2 billion in revenue to the CE and appliance buying group, giving it approximately $5 billion in sales.

"We're happy to have them back," NATM president and executive director Bill Trawick told TWICE. "It gives us a much bigger voice as we move forward, and strengthens our position to negotiate with manufacturers and compete with national chains."

P.C. Richard, the family-run, New York metro-area powerhouse, left NATM in the 1990s to form a rival buying group with hhgregg. The chain has been unaffiliated since.

Trawick acknowledged that P.C. Richard, like other NATM members, may not participate in all group programs given its size and clout with vendors. "But it goes beyond buying," he said, pointing to the best practices and other strategic information that the dealers share.

"P.C. Richard is an extremely large company, but so is NATM today," he said.

Abt, another family-owned CE and majap dealer, operates out of a single 37-acre facility in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, Ill. The company left NATM seven years ago following a change in a core merchandising program, and has since been a member of the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group).

PRO, a specialty A/V group, does not support major appliance programs, Trawick noted, and the opportunity to rejoin NATM opened last spring following the departure of Joliet, Ill.-based member Grant's.

The addition of P.C. Richard and Abt brings NATM's membership up to 12, following the closure of Bernie's this month. Conversely, Abt's departure from PRO represents the second member loss this month after MyerEmco announced plans to close shop. New York - Abt Electronics and P.C. Richard & Son are joining NATM Buying Group.

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