VIP (Mega Group)

Mega Group began as Volume Independent Purchasers (VIP Stores Inc.), a buying group for five independent retail and appliance stores in western Canada. In 1992, VIP Stores partnered with a Montreal buying group called Magasins D'Ambeulement BV Inc. In 2000, the two groups merged to form Mega Group. The company maintains its corporate head office in Saskatoon where it also handles finance and credit, information technology, data processing, human resources and sales. Mega Group has also developed a franchise program with Countrywide and Sleep Experience brands. The group in Montreal now is responsible for retail systems, advertising and design while a Toronto office takes care of merchandising and buying.

Mega is the largest member-owned group in Canada, with more than 450 member retailers in furniture, appliances, and consumer electronics. Mega negotiates with suppliers and uses its size to leverage better deals. Mega also functions as a co-operative, with profits reinvested back to the retailers. In furniture, Mega Group trails only Sears, The Brick and some regional players in buying power in most Canadian markets. In electronics, Mega is fourth in Canada.

Mega Group was ranked among Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies in 2000 and 2003, and now does $420 million in business each year.

Joe Ralko