Bob Baird Teams Up With BrandSource
AVB/BrandSource recently hired venerable retail expert Bob Baird as a consultant to advise and assist its independent dealers in the race with their box store competitors. Bob will work with BrandSource’s leadership team in a bid to drive sales and marketing as they continue on their track of rapid growth. Commenting on Bob’s hiring, BrandSource CEO Jim Ristow said, “Bob has extensive experience in marketing, merchandising, and has a proven track record of growing the business of each company he has worked for. We are thrilled to have him aboard.”
A seasoned industry insider, Bob has been in the retail appliance business for 50 years where he has amassed a wealth of experience that will no doubt prove invaluable in his consulting capacity. Enthusiastic about his new position, Bob says, “I am very optimistic about the future of the appliance industry and the possibilities for the independent retailer. My role at BrandSource is to help the members grow their appliance business and grow it profitably. I very much like that this group is focused on their members – with lots of listening and sharing.”
Bob arrives at BrandSource after 15 years with The Home Depot where he held several executive posts including Global Product Merchant-Appliances, Divisional Merchandise Manager-Appliances, and Merchandising VP-Kitchens/Appliances. When he arrived in 2001, Bob was given the arduous task of building an appliance business from scratch. Upon his departure last year, Home Depot’s appliance business was #2 in the country behind Lowe’s.
Prior to The Home Depot, Bob worked for retailer Montgomery Ward from 1996-2001 as part of a turnaround team. While there, he held positions of SVP-Electronics/Home Office, SVP Internet/Business Development and SVP Hard Goods. Before Montgomery Ward, Bob was SVP-Marketing/Merchandising for west coast electronics retailer The Good Guys. Bob also worked for Circuit City Stores as Regional VP of the Western Division. Bob’s storied career in the retail industry actually began as a Delivery Driver/Salesperson at Montgomery Ward, where he worked while attending college. Upon leaving in 1970, he went on to hold prominent management positions at The Maytag Company and the Fred Schmid Company, a regional retailer based in Denver, before landing at Circuit City in 1989.
Bob spent his college summers as a steel fabricator, including a stint as a stainless steel welder on the St. Louis Arch.
Bob earned a BBA in Marketing and Quantitative Analysis while graduating with honors from the University of Iowa. He also graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drake University where he earned an MBA in Financial Management. Among other accolades, Bob was named Marketer of the Year in 1995 by ‘Adweek’ magazine. He lives in Big Canoe, Georgia, a community 50 miles north of Atlanta and has four children. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, exercise and spending time with family.
Based in Tustin, Calif. and founded in 1969, BrandSource is a 100-percent member-owned merchandising group with more than $14 billion in annual retail sales, nearly 4,500 independent dealer members in North America and close to 3,000 ‘branded’ stores in the United States. ProSource, its consumer electronics division represents more than 500 specialty retailers and custom integrators and boasts annual retail sales of over $4 billion, making it the largest specialty and consumer electronics merchandising group in the United States. As the largest unified merchandising group by number of members and volume in North America, BrandSource has the ability to negotiate strong programs with manufacturers in order keep its independent retailer members relevant and extremely competitive in the consumer marketplace.
BrandSource retailers have established a strong reputation for offering local consumers an unparalleled customer service experience, along with a ‘neighborhood expert’ source whenever they’re in the market for appliances, consumer electronics or home furnishings. Please visit www.brandsource.com or joinbrandsource.com for more information.
Jennifer Baldwin | BrandSource | 714-984-6644 | Jennifer.Baldwin@BrandSource.com