DirectBuy Member Purchases Continue to Grow Despite Slow Economy

MERRILLVILLE, INDIANA…

DirectBuy, the home improvement and furnishings club with confidential dealer prices, has announced that the company’s more than 400,000 members throughout the US and Canada purchased nearly $750 million in merchandise during a 12-month period ending April 30, 2011. DirectBuy members have the collective buying power to purchase directly from hundreds of name-brand manufacturers or authorized suppliers to avoid hidden retail markups on a wide variety of merchandise for their homes.

The three quarters of a billion dollars in DirectBuy member purchases from May 2010 through April 2011 represents a 14% increase in order volume over the same period in the previous year, an indication that purchasing activity among DirectBuy members is continuing to grow – most notably in the areas of small appliances (38.7% increase), and home accessories (20.9% increase).

Through their unique business model, DirectBuy has enabled its members to save hundreds of millions of dollars year after year on products ranging from kitchen cabinetry, countertops, and appliances to furniture, flooring, electronics, and even jewelry. In today’s economy, those savings become even more important.

And while the economy is improving, many traditional retailers are still struggling to recover from one of the worst recessions in US history and a corresponding decrease in consumer purchasing. In contrast, the information released by DirectBuy suggests that not only are consumers continuing to invest in their homes, but that they are doing so at an increasing rate thanks to the confidential dealer pricing available through DirectBuy membership.

In fact, in the category of Home Improvement alone, DirectBuy members purchased nearly $350 million in merchandise, while also investing heavily in Home Furnishings. These numbers include a 20.3% increase in merchandise purchases related to Home Entertainment Furnishings.

The company’s purchasing success stems, in part, from its strong relationships with more than 1,000 manufacturers or authorized suppliers in the US and Canada and large selection of more than one million products – all available at confidential dealer prices. DirectBuy also recently re-launched its e-commerce portal – members.directbuy.com – that gives members the ability to browse, price, compare, and purchase merchandise online. As a result, members are now purchasing even more merchandise online thanks to the improved site and its speedier search returns, increased product availability, and user-friendly interface.

Along with a new website, DirectBuy has also beefed up its member email communications and expanded its Club Exclusive email offers that deliver savings from their suppliers that exceed the everyday values already available to members. The company noted a more than 25% increase in online order volume following the site enhancements and increased email communications, and that number is expected to rise as the company invests further in additional technology advances and membership offerings.

DirectBuy also recently announced that it is bringing back the popular Free 30-Day Membership program, which gives families the opportunity to “test drive” membership and make purchases prior to deciding on a membership plan. Consumers and families interested in learning more about DirectBuy and receiving a certificate for a Free 30-Day Membership are invited to visit www.directbuy.com/free30 to sign up.

About DirectBuy

Since 1971, DirectBuy has been showing thousands of consumers unparalleled ways to save as they shop for virtually everything for in and around their homes – from furnishings, home improvement and flooring, to entertainment and outdoor products, accessories, and much more. With more than 130 locations in North America, DirectBuy offers its members access to approximately 700 brand-name manufacturers and their authorized suppliers in the US, and more than 500 brand-name manufacturers and their authorized suppliers in Canada. In addition, DirectBuy clubs boast a team of designers to help members with their purchases, as well as provide access to a roster of hand-selected contractors to help expedite members’ projects.

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DirectBuy Free 30-Day Membership Back by Popular Demand

Limited time promotion gives families the ability to “test drive” DirectBuy’s unique business model and savings prior to purchasing a membership

MERRILLVILLE, IN…

DirectBuy, the home improvement and furnishings club with confidential dealer prices, has announced that the company and its more than 130 locations throughout North America will once again begin offering free 30-Day Memberships to potential members.

DirectBuy has more than 400,000 members throughout the US and Canada who have the collective buying power to purchase directly from hundreds of name-brand manufacturers or authorized suppliers to avoid hidden retail markups on a wide variety of merchandise for their homes. Through their unique business model, DirectBuy has enabled its members to save hundreds of millions of dollars year after year on products ranging from kitchen cabinetry, countertops, and appliances to furniture, flooring, electronics, and even jewelry. In today’s economy, those savings become even more important.

“The very nature of our concept is powerful, in any economy,” said DirectBuy Executive Vice President Bart Fesperman. “What we were seeing was our members faring much better than most families because of their memberships with DirectBuy and the savings they were experiencing. Even with the economy being slow, our members are still able to buy the things they need for their home. And now, back by popular demand, our free 30-day membership offer helps us to share this security with even more families.”

The promotion will run through July 31, 2011 and allows potential members to gain firsthand experience of the benefits of belonging to DirectBuy:

As part of their Free 30-Day Membership, potential members will be able to visit their local DirectBuy club and begin shopping for the things they need to turn their house into a home, or complete that elusive home improvement project – with the caveat of a $1,000 cap on spending during the 30 days. After seeing the type of savings and value that buying direct offers, families can then select a longer-term membership that provides even more benefits, such as access to the company’s online shopping site – members.directbuy.com – and weekly Club Exclusive email offers from DirectBuy suppliers that provide savings beyond everyday values.

The company also recently introduced new varying membership terms to accommodate a wider range of needs and budgets and allow even more families to experience the benefits of belonging to DirectBuy.

“When guests come in to our club, they aren’t deciding anymore if DirectBuy membership is right for them,” said Chris Beile, a DirectBuy franchisee in Dallas. “Instead, guests are now choosing which membership plan best suits their needs.”

Consumers and families interested in learning more about DirectBuy and receiving a certificate for a Free 30-Day Membership are invited to visit www.directbuy.com/free30 to sign up.

About DirectBuy

Since 1971, DirectBuy has been showing thousands of consumers unparalleled ways to save as they shop for virtually everything for in and around their homes – from furnishings, home improvement and flooring, to entertainment and outdoor products, accessories, and much more. With more than 130 locations in North America, DirectBuy offers its members access to approximately 700 brand-name manufacturers and their authorized suppliers in the US, and more than 500 brand-name manufacturers and their authorized suppliers in Canada. In addition, DirectBuy clubs boast a team of designers to help members with their purchases, as well as provide access to a roster of hand-selected contractors to help expedite members’ projects.

Visit us on www.facebook.com/directbuy

DirectBuy Club releases new state-of-the-art member website

MERRILLVILLE, IN…

Since September of 2009, DirectBuy Club has been working around the clock to develop a brand new, state-of-the-art members-only website that is not only faster, but also more intuitive and informative than ever before. While their previous website allowed members to shop from home, the Merrillville, IN-based buying club felt there was room for improvement and partnered with several companies to create an e-commerce site that would meet and exceed members’ expectations. And after months of design, development, and testing, the new members.directbuy.com has been released.

Aside from a new look and feel, one of the biggest improvements to the site is a brand new search engine that enables users to search by brand, keyword, model number, department, product category, and more, or by price or a range of prices. The website also features more images; multiple viewing options; a fast, no hassle check out process; and the option to save up to six credit cards to a member’s account.

“We had an opportunity to make a real difference in our members’ shopping experience,” said Tony Baumann, I.T. Product/Project Manager. “Our team gave everything they had to this project. There were a lot of moving parts and tight deadlines, but everyone pitched in to ensure we gave our members what they wanted.”

While the website has been released and members are using it daily to research products and make purchases, DirectBuy Club’s work is far from over. The company has several future releases in the works for the coming months and plans to add features such as member product reviews and manufacturer recommendations. “We’ll continually be updating the site with enhancements and features to further add benefit to the DirectBuy Club membership,” said President and CEO Scott Powell. “Our hope is that we can revolutionize the way members search, shop, buy, and learn about all the products DirectBuy offers.”

About DirectBuy Club

Consumers interested in joining DirectBuy are encouraged to attend an exclusive Open House event, which is designed to educate families about DirectBuy’s business model and the benefits of buying direct. The Open House also helps consumers better understand how DirectBuy members avoid traditional retail markup when purchasing brand-name merchandise.

Since 1971, DirectBuy Club has been showing hundreds of thousands of consumers unparalleled ways to save as they shop for virtually everything for in and around their homes – from furnishings, home improvement and flooring, to entertainment and outdoor products, accessories, and much, much more. With more than 150 locations in North America, DirectBuy offers its members access to more than 700 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in the United States, and more than 500 in Canada.

For more information on a DirectBuy Club membership, visit http://www.directbuycares.com.

Consumers interested in seeing DirectBuy Club’s savings, service, and selection up close may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by visiting www.directbuy.com or www.directbuycares.com.

Man cave becomes fan cave for football season

MERRILLVILLE, IN…

In your dad’s day, the “man cave” was the workshop in the garage. Today, it’s typically a finished room in the basement den dedicated to watching sports, possibly relaxing with an adult beverage or two, or the occasional workout. When the NFL season rolls around, however, the man cave completely morphs into a fan cave.

“A fan cave is essentially a man cave dressed up with memorabilia from the owner’s favorite teams,” said Mike Georgeff of DirectBuy. “When the NFL and college football season rolls around, the fan cave often becomes a gathering place for everyone, including female football fans. And that’s why most fan caves need a little help in becoming fan friendly.”

So what can homeowners do to make their fan cave more female- and family-friendly on game nights while remaining fun and functional the rest of the week? DirectBuy, the leading home improvement and furnishings club with direct insider prices, offers the following suggestions for man/fan caves for this football season:

  • Kegerator – a fan-cave essential for a beer-drinking crowd
  • Wide Screen TV with HD; surround sound speakers optional, but highly desirable
  • Sectional sofa to accommodate multiple visitors; reclining chair with cup holders for the host
  • Full-size, built-in bar area or free-standing, mobile bar station
  • Tile or hardwood flooring that’s particularly resilient to potential spillage
  • Pool table, air hockey, or foosball for halftime recreation
  • Mini-kitchen with microwave to reheat buffalo wings
  • Home gym equipment (e.g. treadmill, elliptical) to work off the excess calories consumed during fan cave weekend marathons—football all day Sunday, Monday, sometimes Thursday, and the college games on Saturdays

“Of course, the key to any fan cave is your team gear, merchandise, and souvenirs, and that’s almost always a matter of personal preference,” said Georgeff. “There is one recommendation fan cave owners should take to heart. If you want to preserve the furniture and electronic equipment, coasters and drink koozies with your team’s logo are essential.”

No matter what NFL or college team you follow, DirectBuy offers nearly everything you need to create the perfect fan cave – including autographed and game-used sports memorabilia – at prices direct from manufacturers or their authorized suppliers. DirectBuy also employs product specialists and professional designers well versed in the art of designing the perfect recreational space.

For more information on a DirectBuy membership, you can visit http://www.directbuycares.com.

About DirectBuy Club

For more than 39 years, DirectBuy Club has been showing thousands of consumers unparalleled ways to save as they shop for virtually everything for in and around their homes – from furnishings, home improvement and flooring, to entertainment and outdoor products, accessories and much, much more. With more than 150 locations in North America, DirectBuy Club offers its members access to more than 700 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in the US, and more than 500 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in Canada.

Consumers interested in seeing DirectBuy Club’s savings, service and selection up close may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by visiting www.directbuy.com or www.directbuycares.com.

What to buy once you’ve bought your first home

MERRILLVILLE, IN …

The U.S. government’s recent first-time home buyer’s tax credit paved the way for a number of individuals and couples to experience the joy of owning a home. With the excitement of purchasing your first home comes the reality of “what now” in terms of furnishing, decorating, and fixing up that new home. And that’s an expense many first-time home buyers do not plan for ahead of time.

The National Association of Home Builders projects that most homeowners will spend $7,400 on their home, with more than half being spent during their first year of ownership. Even with a tax credit, that’s a mighty hefty price tag. So how do first-time homeowners go about making their new house a home without maxing out their bank account or credit cards?

“There’s a natural tendency when you buy a house to want to do everything right away. What you really need to do is prioritize what you want to buy and do, and then develop a plan,” said Mike Georgeff of DirectBuy. “What’s truly important in developing your plan is taking care of the essentials before making new furniture purchases.”

DirectBuy’s experts recommend:

  • Tools for home improvement projects: Make sure to have a well-stocked toolbox that includes a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, a tape measure, and a staple gun. The more you are able to do on your own, the easier it will be to keep costs down.
  • Purchasing “ready-to-assemble” furniture: Ready-to-assemble or “flat pack” furniture offers several advantages. First, you don’t have to wait for delivery. Since the furniture is in boxes, you can load it in your car and bring it home the very same day. More importantly, since you, not the store or manufacturer, will be assembling the furniture, it costs less.
  • Accounting for window coverings in your budget: One consideration that is often overlooked by new homeowners is the increased number of windows in a house compared to an apartment. Be sure to budget appropriately for proper window coverings for your home. This has value from an aesthetic viewpoint (look and privacy), as well as from a cost perspective (e.g. thermal curtains can keep the heat/cold out, reducing energy costs and protecting your furniture from depreciating faster due to sunlight exposure).
  • Garden tools: If you’re moving from an apartment into your first home, chances are a lawn mower, rake, and other garden tools were not in your closet. As a new homeowner, you want to maintain the curb appeal of your home. That starts by caring for the exterior of your home from Day One., which means you should have the basics on hand: lawnmower, garden hose, sprinkler, and a shovel (for winter weather).
  • Basic appliances: While many existing homes usually come with appliances, a new homeowner needs to take inventory of whether or not they will need to purchase big-ticket items like a refrigerator, stove, and a washer/dryer before spending on less critical items, like a home theater system.

“That doesn’t mean everything you do or purchase has to be an essential. It’s just that some new homeowners can get caught up in doing everything at once and digging a financial hole that prohibits them from taking on more improvements,” said Georgeff. “By taking it slow, one room at a time, new homeowners can make their house a home without being house poor in the first year.”

DirectBuy Club offers home furnishings and items and materials for home improvement projects to help all homeowners create their dream homes—all at direct insider prices. DirectBuy also employs product specialists and designers, so if you need some assistance in selecting products or taking on a home improvement project, you have seasoned professionals at your service.

For more information on a DirectBuy Club membership, you can visit directbuycares.com.

About DirectBuy Club

For more than 39 years, DirectBuy Club has been showing thousands of consumers unparalleled ways to save as they shop for virtually everything for in and around their homes – from furnishings, home improvement and flooring, to entertainment and outdoor products, accessories and much, much more. With more than 150 locations in North America, DirectBuy Club offers its members access to more than 700 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in the US, and more than 500 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in Canada.

Consumers interested in seeing DirectBuy Club’s savings, service and selection up close may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by visiting directbuy.com or directbuycares.com.