Omni President Bob Hoff had plenty of news to share with the nearly 1,000 attendees at the buying group’s 2015 Spring Meeting at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Hoff, who celebrates his 30th year with Omni in March (his wife, Linda, has been with the group for more than 33 years and is executive director of companion organization Luxury Products Group), revealed the buying group is in the midst of executing a succession plan for when he retires from the organization. Hoff said a successor with industry ties is in place and will be revealed sometime in the first quarter of 2015. Hoff will remain in an interim advisory role during the transition.
“Our Omni family is extremely important to us,” he said. “It’s a huge part of our lives and will continue to be part of our lives. But you need a plan and we have a plan. There is a succession plan in place that is active so we can maintain continuity and prosperity for this family.”
On the financial front, the buying group again enjoyed a robust performance with 2014 purchases through Omni vendors reaching a projected $1.12 billion, up from $1.07 billion in 2013.
“When I came here in 1985 we were at $60-some million,” Hoff told attendees during the welcome session. “We’ve had a lot of challenges and we’ve grown the organization and we will continue to grow. We had a great year in 2014 and we did it with a lot of work that has us back in the swing of things. This all is thanks to the support of our membership, vendor partners and our board of directors.”
Omni again released the results of its annual business conditions survey where 68% of member respondents reported increased sales in the last six months of 2014 compared to the last six months of 2013. Region III (Southeast) led the way with 86% of respondents reporting an increase in sales. Survey respondents reported an average sales increase of 9% during that timeframe.
Looking to the future, 73% of respondents feel total sales will increase over the next sixth months, with 26% predicting they will stay the same. The majority of survey respondents (58%) predict inventories will stay the same over the next six months.
For Luxury Products Group, Linda Hoff reported the group once again enjoyed growth (close to 15% increase in member vendor purchases) and added 11 member showrooms in 2014.
“We added 11 new showrooms in 2014 and we hope to do the same in 2015,” she said. “Our members are adding new products and we are privileged to have brought on Laufen as an LPG-only vendor. More of our members are switching lines and switching their showrooms to be LPG-only vendors and that’s helped us get pretty close to that 15% growth. “
Omni will celebrate its 35th anniversary Jan. 30-Feb. 2 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Waikoloa, Hawaii. The week before Omni, LPG will hold its annual meeting in Huntington Beach, Calif.