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131: Defining Attainable Luxury with ZLINE Kitchen

Written by Rob Stott

August 9, 2022

A brand that’s still too young to get its driver’s license, ZLINE Kitchen has been making major waves in the appliance industry of late. With a year of working with the Nationwide Marketing Group team under its belt, we sit down with ZLINE to talk shop. Mason Watkins, marketing director, and Derek Frye, director of sales, share a behind-the-scenes look at what differentiates ZLINE in the attainable luxury category.


 

Rob Stott: All right. We are back on the Independent Thinking Podcast, and always fun recording around prime time because it’s crunch time, and no one’s busy. Right. So why not take the time and record a podcast and have some fun while we’re doing it. And we get to do it today with a vendor partner. Just about a year I think, I want to say maybe a little bit over a year at this point in with Nationwide Marketing Group, but the team from ZLINE Kitchen coming on, Mr. Mason Watkins, marketing director, and Derek Frye, director of sales. Appreciate you guys. I know for us as nationwide, we’re busy. I can imagine for you guys as well, doing this twice a year, right? You get into the mode of doing it, but you got to be pretty busy as well. I imagine.

Derek Frye: Yeah, no. We’re absolutely busy. Everybody’s making final minute changes to design, not necessarily design changes, but what do we want to have in the booth. We have all the Palooza deals, show specials, everything, getting them all lined up, everything ready, so that, come Showtime, everything’s ready to rock and roll. There’s definitely a lot that goes into it. And the entire team, for us behind it, it is totally a team effort because without Derek and Michael and Brent and those guys, there’s no way we’d be able to get done what we’re doing this year, especially with a bigger booth this year. So.

Rob Stott: Yeah, I was going to add, we’ll dive into you guys in a second. I’m more interested obviously, now that we’re talking about at the show. When you think about a booth, we’ll see the booth at PrimeTime that you guys have and everything that goes there. What’s the difference between like when you go to a buying show with your booth there, as opposed to what industry person or someone attending, like an NKBA or another industry show would see in between those two booths.

Derek Frye: Yeah. I think in kind of in years past, we’ve had a much bigger presence at NKBA than we have at PrimeTime in the past. That being said, this year we’re going with a bigger booth, because we’ve got such a wide array of color options and different products and different things that we can really show that we haven’t really presented before. And so that was kind of the idea behind the bigger booth. Let’s get more product out there, let’s show them our autograph edition stuff that you can replace all the handles and knobs and color choices and make it really your own, customizable range to centerpiece of your kitchen. And so, in order to do that, you got to have a bigger booth.

Rob Stott: Makes perfect sense. Awesome. Well, cool to hear. And we’re obviously excited to see it when we get down there to Orlando, lots of fun going on, but we’ll dive in now to you guys, you’ve heard a little bit about the booth and kind of everything, but Derek director of sales, Mason, he talked already. I’ll let you go. Let’s go tell us about yourself, get some words on this podcast.

Mason Watkins: Sure. Rob, thanks for having us. Yeah. Yeah. Mason Watkins, director of marketing. I’ve been with the company just under five years. And yeah, it’s been amazing to watch the growth of this company and kind of the splash and the impression that we’re making on. What is historically been in my opinion, a stagnant industry. And it’s now evolving, especially when we look at the state of things in terms of eCommerce and digital presence, which is how we made our impression. And so, from my time with the company in the last five years, we’ve grown exponentially in digital presence, and we’ve been able to create a community and really lead a trend more or less of what we’ve seen with eCommerce availability of appliances. And I think it’s really cool to see now that we have competitors that are following suit. And it’s just as it is important to grow that independent retailer network, it’s become more prevalent to have that digital presence and to really capitalize on telling that brand’s story. And so that’s been my MO and my background is in front end, web development, digital advertising, SEO, and it’s been really exciting to kind of see what we’ve been able to do as ZLINE and to scale that out, and now competitors are falling in that space. So-

Rob Stott: Yeah, certainly interesting. And you’re kind of speaking our MO when it’s all about story and talking and being able to get that message out there. I think especially five years, you talk about half that time you’ve been spending it there while a pandemic’s going on. So getting the message out there in a story and your name out there while all that’s happening, certainly important. I know we saw it on the retail side, I imagine on the brand side as well. So that had to be interesting to get sort of you’re getting comfortable and then all of a sudden, a pandemic gets thrown at you.

Mason Watkins: Yeah, absolutely. And I would say the MO with ZLINE and kind of our central theme is that we’ve always been in the right place at the right time and capitalizing on opportunities that present themselves five years ago from now, our bread and butters ranges and it still is, since then we’ve expanded our product line into the entire kitchen Sweden offering that value add of accents and customizable finishes and really offering the customers mid-tier luxury appliances is something that really stands out from the rest of the crowd. And it’s just overall, it’s really exciting to see.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Awesome. And I know we’re going to dive into that in a little bit, but Derek, how about you, background, kind of where you come from and what’s at your seat?

Derek Frye: Yeah, my background, I don’t have an appliance background. I moved out here to Reno three years ago and was lucky enough to answer a Craigslist ad where I was like, these guys are either completely crazy, or this is the best opportunity of my life. It turned out to be the best opportunity of my life, but I’ve got a background. I was in oil and gas executive for a little bit, living down in Texas, and then got into kind of the software and tech side of things for a little bit, and then, kind of took a chance and moved out here. And it really just has been an unbelievable ride since stepping in the door. And so it’s really a unique place to work in a sense that the culture and the environment here is something that is unlike any other workplace that I’ve ever been at.

We’re fortunate enough to have 100% growth year over year for the last couple years. And that means that we’re hiring a lot of people and Sid and Zach and Haley have done such an amazing job of just not necessarily hiring for the position, but finding the right people to hire and then finding a position that fits them. And so that has really allowed us because when you have that kind of growth, you’re going to have so many people doing so many different things, and it’s really allowed us to continue to keep pace with the amount of sales that we’ve seen. And so, culture is as big of a thing as I can say about ZLINE. And we got a great big video board for a boost.

So we’re going to try to show some of that culture at this show. So I would tell all the listeners to stop by and really kind of check it out. Because we do some really, really cool things. We donated 140,000 masks during the crisis. We did a music and miracles just recently with the Beach Boys where we raised $1.8 million. And so, the guy to my left here was actually opened for the Beach Boys. Him and our CMO and Zach, they’re in hourly rate, they’re in a band. And so again, it goes back to that culture thing that really just kind of the vibe that goes to the office and that trickles down to the dealers that work with us. If you ask them, they’ll be like, “ZLINE just a little different.” We do things differently. We like to take care of our customers. We’d like to respond as quickly as possible. We’ve got things in place that at the end of the day, your experience with us is going to be a good one.

Rob Stott: So all in all nice that you weren’t catfished, whatever the professional version of that would be off of Craigslist for the judge basically. No? That’s awesome. Cool to hear. And you guys got a lot of awesome things happening, and you mentioned just the way the brand has kind of expanded. The thing I like when you visit the website, first thing you see is this whole theme of attainable luxury. And that descriptor is kind of the tagline that you guys use and leaning maybe more towards the Mason question here, but I got both of your perspective on, first of all, what does that mean? What does attainable luxury mean? We’ll start there.

Mason Watkins: Absolutely. Well, I think it speaks for itself certainly, and that was our intention with developing a tagline, because our value proposition to the customers at the end of the day has always been let’s give them a quality product that is more approachable price point, and really what we’re doing. I mean, we’re not really skimping on any quality or features when it comes to any of our product categories. In fact, I would argue and say that we’re leaders and many of them, but when it comes to attainable luxury, it’s more of a descriptor of the feeling that we want customers to feel, to have the opportunity to own something luxurious, to be proud of what they have in their kitchen to create an experience that is unlike, the standard. And I think that when we think about luxury brands out there and really what makes them luxury is the scarcity, right?

Or how attainable they might be in terms of who can have them and who dictates that. Right. And so I think that’s really how we’re trying to make a splash and make a unique name for us and stand out is to provide that experience for our customers, especially when it comes to the kitchen, the heart of the home, where we’re spending most time. And of course, you mentioned the pandemic and folks are spending more time in their homes than ever. And I think that’s one of the things that we’ve done well is aligned well with that timing and communicating that in all of our branding. And like Derek mentioned, we’re going to have a big booth at the show, and a lot of that content and that messaging is going to be present there and it’s brand new to us. And it’s really exciting for our dealers and for our customers alike, but yeah, attainable luxury is certainly something that’s allowed us to stand out. And I think that it’s going to be a unique value proposition for us for the long term. Absolutely.

Rob Stott: Awesome to hear, makes perfect sense to me. Now, when you turn it around and talk to a retailer about what that means and how they can kind of leverage it and use it in their own stores to promote the product. What type of customer are they looking for? What sort of things would you tell them to help them in their promotion of the ZLINE brand?

Mason Watkins: Yeah. I mean, absolutely. I think it’s a value from top down, right? I think it doesn’t matter the context, if we’re talking to a customer directly through our website messaging and through our experience there, I think that dealers and independent retailers across the nation can tap into that, into leverage some of that imagery and symbolism that we offer. Because I think quite frankly, that’s one of the more attractive elements of our branding, is the imagery and the product design, I think speaks for itself as well. But I do believe that, and given the current state of the economy with inflation and consumer spending behavior, I think that now more than ever, these retailers can definitely tap into the feeling and reach a wider audience, right. People that weren’t really qualified that we wouldn’t consider as qualified customers for this tier of quality appliances.

Right. I think that now we’re expanding into more of that. And I think that we’re getting a lot of people that are discovering that, maybe it is within their reach. And additionally, I would argue that even for the people of the upper tier that are looking for luxury, no matter what the price tag is, I still believe that our value offered in the quality and the functionality of our products is attractive to them as well. I mean, I can personally attest to many customers speaking highly of our product after they’ve had less than favorable experience with something that is twice as much, right. And maybe claims to have all the bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, I think it boils down to the experience that we’re giving our customers and that we’re having those interactions directly with them. I mean, I can say personally that when we get people in our showroom, at our headquarters in Reno, they instantly walk in the door and they’re like there’s a really cool vibe. There’s something special going on. That’s unique to the industry. And we want to offer that and maybe allow for our independent retailers to tap into that same attitude and how to emanate throughout their customer base.

Rob Stott: To each of you. What is that thing that you think differentiates the ZLINE brand? Like if you had to put your finger on it, I don’t know if there is one thing necessarily, in how you would sum it up, what is it that differentiates you?

Mason Watkins: Yeah, absolutely. Like I mentioned, I think what differentiates any company comes down to customer service, right. And understanding how you can make and turn your customers into your biggest brand ambassadors. Right. And through word of mouth, through referrals. And I think that when we’ve focused on the quality of how we take care of our customers and the things that we’re willing to do to make things right, because any company can attest to having had experiences where something didn’t go right for the customer and depending on how they handled it, it can make or break their reputation. Right. And so that’s where we really choose to invest our resources and understanding how can we make our customers that haven’t had a great experience, our biggest brand ambassadors and our reviews to our product across all of our listings can attest to that, to our reviews on our own account. I think it really comes down to that. And I think that’s generally a focus that can allow bigger the businesses to scale, generally. And that’s kind of what we’ve done in partnership with our brand presence digitally, I think that’s been the key attributes to our success there.

Derek Frye: Yeah. No, and I’ll just kind of piggyback a little bit off of what Mason said and to take it one step back a little bit about kind of the customer too, that the dealer should be looking for is, we’ve got a really attractive builder packages that have caught on with builders, right. So there’s kind of different segments. So we kind of got the builder side that I would encourage your listeners to take a dive in at, but then we’ve also got like the customer that’s going to be coming in the door. And it really starts with Drew Pearson and the creative team and then the content that they put together, and then Mason and his team really takes that and pushes it through our marketing and social media channels to really create a dedicated ZLINE customer.

That after speaking with a lot of dealers, really they’re shocked at how dedicated to ZLINE are. Right. They’re usually typically a little bit younger, because we’ve got such a great kind of social media presence along those lines. Typically, it’s a first-time home buyer or someone that’s potentially doing a kitchen remodel on a house that they just bought. It’s usually typically a little bit younger of a customer than your traditional kitchen appliances. And it’s oftentimes because they want to experience that luxury. They want to experience… Everybody wants an iPhone. Everybody wants the nice phone, the nice car, the nice product, the nice clothes. And so, I think that younger first-time home buyer, because we’ve seen more millennials right now buy homes than in years past. And I think that’s really helped our growth, especially Mason and his team on all those social channels.

And then to kind of follow up your second question on what separates us to be point blank. Everyone is going to screw up, but we will do everything right to make it right when we do screw up. And that is a promise that comes from our owner, Andy Zuro. And he gives us the ability, he’s such a family oriented person. He treats all of his workers like family. And he expects us to treat all of the customers like family. And so literally if our customers aren’t satisfied, we’ve got the ability to do whatever it takes to make sure that they are satisfied. Because like Mason said, at the end of the day, they then turn into our biggest brand ambassador, because they’re going to tell 10 friends about the unbelievable customer service that they got because of shipping damage on a range that literally had nothing to do with us. But we want to make sure that their experience is still at the end of the day, a luxury experience, because we are a luxury brand. Absolutely.

Rob Stott: And one of the interesting things, you guys are talking like a brand that’s been around forever doing this and has it figured out crazy to find out, 15 years old, like it was still a very young brand in the grand scheme of this industry. And first of all, congrats to everyone there that hitting that mark and pretty cool to be able to celebrate that. And is that maybe a contributing factor because it is such a young brand that like there still is that not that as you age, you wouldn’t be able to do this, but to be able to pivot and learn and sort of still evolve the business because it is so young.

Derek Frye: Yeah. I think again, that goes back to like the culture that we talked about earlier, right. And it’s like, we have plans of becoming the biggest appliance manufacturer in the world, right? Everybody that is in this industry does, but I still want to see us have the same culture that we have today as we grow that big, to be able to take care of the needs on a dime for our dealers. Because not every dealer is the same, not every customer is the same. Everything is going to be a unique situation. And so, our challenge is going to be, as we continue to grow, how do we keep that same frame of mindset and that same culture that we currently have, but I promise you, every decision we make is a decision on how do we make it easier to do business with us, to do business with our dealers, to do business for our customers. Because at the end of the day, if we make it easier to do business, we’re going to have more customers. So it literally goes through a checkpoint of does this make it easier to do business or harder to do business. And if it’s harder to do business, it’s not getting entertained.

Rob Stott: Oh, makes sense. Mason, anything to add on that?

Mason Watkins: Yeah. Absolutely. I think from more of the marketing standpoint, it’s a two-prong approach. And like Derek said, I mean you have a traditional customer so to speak and they’re more familiar with the longstanding brands out there. And I think that with millennials buying more homes than ever, we’re really tapping into a new type of customer and they’re more savvy, digitally. Right. And so tapping to tie that back into what we’ve been able to do in the digital sphere with social media, working with social media influencers and kind of tapping into these micro communities of newly qualified home buyers that are qualified for the mid-tier luxury appliances, I think that’s what we’ve done. And now we’re kind of working to bring up the back end of targeting those existing customers that are new to ZLINE and that are considering maybe some of the experiences that have been had with existing competitors. Let’s give these guys a shot, let’s better understand. And once we have them in that consideration, I think it’s pretty easy for us to tell the story, to get them bought into what we’re doing from a culture perspective and that transcends not just working with our customers, but doing business with us and working with our retailers. And so I think that’s what it really boils down to.

Rob Stott: Slightly off topic and tangent, interesting to see that this is a brand that’s based out of lake Tahoe, not necessarily an appliance hotbed. Like, does that play into any of this at all? Like when you think about where other brands traditionally reside, it’s not lake Tahoe.

Mason Watkins: Certainly. Yeah, no. I think it’s a unique story and that ties back in, we’ve been in business for 15 years and our owner, Andrew Zuro started off directly manufacturing, designing range hoods and kitchen ventilation after he had his experiences with looking to purchase range hoods and seeing a huge opportunity to offer that value to better understand in what ways can I change this industry? Having had my own experiences with remodeling my home and designing that. And so originally, moving from the Midwest out here was a strategic move for the company to expand distribution. And since then, we’ve chosen Reno, I think Reno and like Tahoe in the surrounding areas is a great hotbed for growth and for not only workforce capital, but just for our branding purposes.

I mean, tying it to lake Tahoe, there’s many of us in our workforce and headquarters here that are so tied into the outdoors, that are so active. And so, that definitely emanates in our culture. And we’re certainly inspired by that endless beauty found in our surroundings that’s directly from our brand story. And certainly we want to allow that to emanate into our product design, into the overall impression that we get. I think it’s the biggest synergy that we have that ties in, and it just makes sense and we’re happy to have the opportunity to have headquarters here. It’s been a great move for the company.

Rob Stott: I mean, at the very least, it keeps me on your website longer. Because looking at those mountains and just the giant lake, and it’s gorgeous, first of all. And then you get into the appliances and they’re gorgeous and it all kind of blends together. Like you say.

Mason Watkins: Absolutely. And like I mentioned, it’s like how do you not take advantage of that opportunity to tell that story, especially since it’s so ingrained in everything that we do. And many of us, like I mentioned, outdoor enthusiasts that are conscious of what we’re doing in our environment and that actually can even be more connected to what we’re doing from a sustainability initiative, which is in the works certainly, but looking to stand out and become unique and allow that to be a differentiator for us as well. I think that will we really take that to heart and there’ll be more to come on that becoming-

Rob Stott: Yeah. I know you mentioned more to come, I see this story, I have the page up, I’m looking at it right now. What can you talk about it? Why is that a push? And then sort of what’s going on there and what excites you about it?

Mason Watkins: Yeah. So, absolutely. And I think it goes without saying that there’s things happening with climate change and just looking globally the way waste is contributing to some of these issues. I think that naturally for us and for being a younger company and more conscious about sustainability and conservation and on that topic, we’ve donated plenty to initiatives for conservation around like lake Tahoe, for instance. So like tying back into being outdoor enthusiast and really appreciating our environment, we’ve contributed a lot to making sure that environment locally is something that we’re proud to be a part of and to contribute to that. But moreover, we’re looking to make a bigger impact in terms of the industry and to really stand out and in terms of what can we do in terms of our part and getting in efficient with our manufacturing process and making an impact so that we can have an environment where we’re going to be around for much longer and that’s good for business.

It’s good for consumers. And I think that our new age of newly qualified consumers can identify with that, and are very tied into some of the things going on with the environment and with the way companies are operating. And not only is a big value add, but it’s more or less our obligation to ensure that we have something that will be longstanding and sustainable for the future. And so we are currently working with net zero to become net zero, right. Or end zero, I should say, but looking to better understand where can we off put some of that production and the things that are contributing to the carbon emissions, and where can we look for opportunities to recycle metals and things like that. And so more will come on that, but certainly very important to us and to our culture.

Rob Stott: Yeah, absolutely, no. Awesome story to hear and great video, little plug for the video that’s on the website. People can go watch and learn more about all that stuff, all the sustainability efforts you guys have going on. Because awesome to see. But yeah, so diving a little more specifically, a little more focused on the here and now, what’s sort of the outlook in this space for you guys over the next six to the back half of this year, we got prime time now, but like look into the back half of ’22, ’23. Anything you guys are excited about from industry wise to your own product stuff, what’s going on with ZLINE?

Derek Frye: Yeah. Speaking of COVID, COVID kind of pushed some product development stuff back a year or two. And-

Rob Stott: I don’t think you’re alone there.

Derek Frye: So, I’ll speak a little bit about Q4 kind of 2022 and 2023 a little bit, but we’re really, really so excited. We’re going to have 30, 36 and 42 inch built-in refrigeration, finally, which I know there’s a long waiting list for those out there on the market. There’s not a lot of people that have them. So, we’re really kind of expecting some sales to really explode with those, especially when we come in and kind of disrupt the market at an attainable price point. And so I would encourage your listeners to stop by and ask more questions about those. But we’ll also have counter depth, not just counter depth refrigeration, we’ll also have full refrigeration coming out. It’ll be capacity size. It’ll be the industry leader. We’ll have under cabinet beverage centers, wine coolers, and then also washers and dryers as well.

So, we’re working going to continue to expand. 2023, one of the things we don’t have a set date on it, but I believe it’s going to be midyear potentially, is we’re going to have a smart line, smart line of products. So ranges, range hoods, fridges, all that stuff will be interconnected. And a lot of that stuff we’re going to release to Independence, right? And so that one of the big things that we learned s growing, how important the independent channel really is in the overall scheme of the appliance industry. And so, as we develop more and more products, we do want to develop products specifically for Independence and retailers, because after talking, and I’m not going to call out any names, but after talking to dealers and hearing about kind of the issues that they’re having with some other manufacturers, we think there’s a big opportunity to partner closer, partner a little bit better and develop some products specifically for the Independence, and give them maybe a competitive advantage over some other folks.

And so, that’s really kind of where our mindset is, on product development and gearing our brand is we want to partner as closely as we can with the independent market, because at the end of the day, they literally are the final bow on our presentation. Right. And it’s just a perfect luxury at attainable luxury that when they come in, put the bow on it, offer that delivery, offer that install service, do those final touches. They really are the final part of our family that drops off the present to the customer. And so that’s why we’re so excited to work with the Independence and so excited about what’s coming down the line for the Independence.

Rob Stott: Well, that’s awesome to hear. And I know listeners, you hear that kind of commitment. That’s got to be excited as well. I’m sure to hear that from you guys, and just to dive a little bit deeper, like we said at the top, just about a year, little over a year, working with nationwide dealers. What’s gone well, and what’s excited you about this channel in this group?

Derek Frye: Oh man. First off, I need to really, really give a huge, huge thanks to John Lang and the entire NMG team. Those guys just, I personally can’t thank John enough for the guidance and support and his entire team has given us, provided us, especially as we get newer and working with Independence, but literally in talking and working with dealers is we continue to grow at a phenomenal rate within nationwide, which is really exciting. But the feedback for that product development for products for them, as well as because we started out as an E-commerce type company. Selling on the E-commerce way. We didn’t really have a lot of dealer programs. And so, we’re revising all of our dealer programs. So we’re going to have a bunch of new co-ops and volume rebates and all those things that these dealers want to see, stop by our booth, because we’re going to have a laundry list of things, goodies for you guys. So it’s just really, we have learned so much from the NMG team about how to really tailor our programs to the independent side, to make it more attractive for them. And again, just complete thanks to the whole Nationwide Marketing Group.

Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome. Mason, do you have anything? I don’t know how closely you work with Members, if it’s as closely as Derek-

Mason Watkins: Certainly, no. I mean, like Derek touched on earlier, we have many people doing many things, and so I have an indirect exposure to nationwide and the endeavors there, but certainly it’s been exciting to see some of the development that we’ve seen with those policies. Right. And to reiterate, I think I couldn’t agree more that the Independence are so important and truly the backbone of what we’re trying to accomplish in terms of scalability and in terms of reaching those more of those newly qualified customers and more of the existing customers that are looking for something new and looking for an upgrade and where that company to provide that to them and for the company to, for those Independence to rely on to really leverage some captivating brand marketing, something that’s truly unique to the industry.

And I think that one thing that’s really exciting that personally I’ve been a part of is developing more opportunities for Independence to work with us on co-op advertising opportunities and to really develop a repository of some just captivating content that’s to rewind a little bit, one of the initiatives where we’ve always done kind of on a per case basis is work with Independence and vendors of all sizes to better assist them with their marketing approach. And for me, my approach has to always been how to best capture the digital space and really working with them. It’s now meeting them in the middle of how can we get integrated and really convey that consistent branding message. How can we best arm you or give you the resources that you need to so that your business can flourish and to really best tell the ZLINE story. Right. And I think that it’s a win-win on both sides. It works out both ways, but really expanding more opportunities to work with Independence of all sizes and all levels. Because at the end of the day, it’s helping all of us. And I think it’s just a really exciting opportunity for everyone. That’s a stakeholder.

Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome. And cool to hear you both talk about it because even myself coming from the trade media side, the publication side, nice to see that sales and marketing can coexist and talk to sales and make it work. Right.

Mason Watkins: I couldn’t agree more. I mean, if you asked me personally Rob, it’s all bottom line, right. At the end of the day, it’s all bottom line. I mean, there’s a lot of things that are nice to have, but we have to look at the must haves, right?

Rob Stott: Exactly.

Mason Watkins: Things that are big focuses for us, and must haves are making sure that when customers step into any one of our independent retailers in that network, they’re going to get a consistent experience that is aligned with what we want to offer directly to our consumers. And I know that what we’ve done up to this point is made a great impression. And we’re looking to expand on that and to offer that more and to provide those Independence with more resources to do that and to better assist their customers at the end of the day.

Rob Stott: Oh, that’s awesome. Well, to put a bow on this, I appreciate you guys taking the time and shedding a little light on the ZLINE brand, and everything you got going on. And awesome to hear like I said, all the things you’ve got happening for our independent dealers and for the nationwide family. So, safe travels down to Orlando. And we’ll be seeing you guys soon before we know it.

Derek Frye: All right. Are you going to be at the show?

Rob Stott: I certainly will be. I’ll be there. Mic and camera and all that sort of good stuff in hand. So-

Derek Frye: Sunday night, and I don’t know if this is going to air before the show or right after it, but Sunday night we are doing, we have appetizers and drinks available for anybody at Wreckers Sports Bar there in the Gaylord. Sunday night, from 8:00 to 11:00. There’s no other NMG event going on. So there’s no reason why you can’t come grab a bike to eat, grab a bike to drink. We don’t have to talk business, just show up, introduce yourselves and say hello.

Rob Stott: Well, hey, I’ll swing by. That sounds good to me. So, you heard it, invites out to everyone listening, so. Awesome. Well, thank you guys. Thank you.

Derek Frye: Yep. Have a going man. Really appreciate it, Rob.

 

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136: Retail Runs Deep for The Appliance Center Team

136: Retail Runs Deep for The Appliance Center Team

In its 77-year history, The Appliance Center has weathered all sorts of storms. Most recently, the Panama City, FL, business had its main showroom rocked by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Though they’re still working out of a makeshift warehouse-turned-storefront, President Bob Hurst shares how they’ve remained successful.

135: Patrick Maloney Shares a Message to NMG Members

135: Patrick Maloney Shares a Message to NMG Members

During PrimeTime in Orlando, the discussion centered around getting “back to basics” in the fight for foot traffic. Patrick Maloney, NMG’s EVP of Membership, jumped on the Independent Thinking Podcast to expand on that message — and share some highlights from the show.