Vantage Group, Crystal Lake, Ill., locked up an agreement to be the preferred supplier of electrical products to Marriott hotels and its affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada. The agreement puts Vantage members in the preferred slot for 1,600 to 1,800 hotel and resort locations.

Vantage, which is jointly owned by six of the larger electrical distributors in North America, was selected by Marketplace by Marriott, a subsidiary launched two years ago by Marriott International, Washington, D.C. Marketplace by Marriott consolidates procurement of a variety of commodities and services for hotels owned by Marriott International and Marriott franchise owners, including those companies' non-Marriott properties.

Geographic coverage was an important factor in Marriott's decision, said Sean Leahy, president of Vantage Group. Vantage's six members: All-Phase Electric Supply, Benton Harbor, Mich.; The Branch Group, Upper Marlboro, Md.; Crescent Electric Supply, Co., East Dubuque, Ill.; Platt Electric Supply Co., Beaverton, Ore.; Rexel, Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.; and Westburne, Inc., Montreal, Quebec; together have over 700 locations.

The first phase of the agreement covers maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products. Leahy declined to specify the sales volume electrical MRO purchases represent for the hotel chain, but said the number was in the tens of millions of dollars. The second phase of the agreement would involve Marriott's construction projects in the U.S. and Canada.