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RECONNECT – 2022 Mega Group National Convention Recap

This month’s RECONNECT National Convention was a celebration of innovation and transformation where Mega Group showcased its position as an industry leader in furniture, appliances, bedding and consumer electronics.

October 24, 2022  |  By Katherine Kocur

After a long hiatus, Mega members, vendors, collaborative partners, and fellow retail professionals came together in person for a three-day event to share their collective wealth of insights, knowledge, inspiration and successful strategies.

The event kicked off on Wednesday, October 12th with a cocktail hour that saw members and vendors RECONNECT for the first time in three years! The group then reconvened for an evening at the Lone Star Restaurant graciously hosted by Tempur-Sealy on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Chris West, Tania Dionne and Kevin Leier present donations cheque of $9,450 to RMHC

A total of $9,450 was raised from the generous contributions of those in attendance. Mega is proud to support an organization that has such a positive impact on so many lives in our members’ communities across Canada.

Kevin Leier, Mega Group’s interim CEO, was also able to take advantage of the occasion to introduce new CEO Chris West. With his vast experience in retail to call on, Chris will help bring Mega and its members to the next level. “I easily recognized the pride and passion that [we] have for our organization, our members and our partners.” Chris West was quoted saying after the convention; “I am certain this was a very powerful and energizing event for all.”

Kevin Leier (left) and Chris West (right)

Chris West will join our team as Mega Group’s President/CEO on November 7th, 2022.

Thursday morning kicked off with the announcement of Retail Essentials, a suite of à-la-carte services intended to engage with more Mega members through programmes and systems that help them grow a more profitable business. The first notable introductions in early 2023 will be two new Sleep programs and the expansion of the one-year-old Outlet gallery.

AVB Marketing’s John White was on hand to strengthen his group’s partnership with Mega.  A member panel joined in to discuss his group’s dedication to become the “best in everything, from website, to sales, to everything we do for members.”

During the afternoon session, Mega Group’s merchandising directors hosted panels with vendors such as Elran, Ashley Furniture, Décor-Rest, Tempur-Sealy, Serta-Simmons, Whirlpool, Samsung, GE and others to discuss the effects of this economic downturn on the supply chain and pricing. They especially touched on questions about the challenges posed by the current market and how to collectively move forward in the weeks and months ahead. “After the storm comes the time to rebuild, and unity is strength,” stated Elran’s Eric Abecassis.

The Fall Buy Fair was held online, simultaneous to the convention, for all members to participate nationally.  Those in attendance had exclusive access to the most aggressive Stampede deals, which got underway Thursday evening. “We are excited to be back in Toronto and to have so many of our retailers join us for the Stampede,” said Tatyana Ouvalieva, Senior Director of Merchandising, Furniture. “It was great to see Stampede-goers reunite in this tradition while they were enjoying the convention.”

The new Mega Connect platform was also launched at RECONNECT, featuring a revamped interface and a variety of new features. Read more about Mega Connect here.

The return of in-person member huddles. Photo from Reconnect of members reuniting at the Hilton Toronto Airport & Suites at Reconnect to discuss their latest realities.

The return of in-person member huddles allowed retailers to offer one another guidance on successful best practices, while providing insightful commentary on the positive impacts of the shift to buying local and moving towards ecommerce.

Meanwhile, the educational showroom was a hot spot to learn about the latest products and take an in-depth look at what’s arriving in the upcoming months.

Our two keynote speakers brought their unique perspectives to a captivated audience. Bestselling author Doug Stephens discussed the importance of storytelling while accelerating digital transformation, while Matt Havens had the floor at Mega’s Gala Dinner as he spoke about the benefits of enhancing our professional and personal connections across generations.

The 2022 Mega Group National Convention, first in-person event held after such a long time apart, was a great way for like-minded professionals in the independent home goods and furnishings sectors to RECONNECT.

We would like to thank our sponsors for helping us make this event a success and look forward to our next member events; the AGM is scheduled to run next March in conjunction with AVB’s Las Vegas Summit, while our annual convention will run again in the fall of 2023.