By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The proliferation of DVDs and ongoing sales success of CDs has spurred makers to produce ever-increasing numbers of larger-size, multimedia-storage-capable home storage racks and towers.
"We see the industry heading more toward high-capacity items and multimedia storage," said Rudy Roedyanto, product manager for home storage at Atlantic . "There is an incredible demand for DVD storage units in the home."
Atlantic is focusing on expanding its current product lines into the multimedia arena. "The success of our current multimedia units has encouraged us to build on our existing collections," Roedyanto said.
Typical of its manufacturing direction, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based Atlantic is making available a Gallery Towers unit for home multimedia storage. The high-capacity product, which combines form and function, is available in matte black steel, or matte black steel with cherry wood shelves. It is said to take up little space, while offering consumers an attractive and purposeful storage solution.
"Atlantic's consumers these days are very meticulous about quality and design," Roedyanto continued. "Atlantic's forte is providing high-quality products that are very advanced in design. This is one of our most distinguishing features.
"The steel and wood combination is not only aesthetically pleasing, it's extremely durable. As we grow this line, we will be able to provide consumers with even more styles and solutions to choose from."
Model 2017 Gallery Towers, in black steel with a matte finish, features adjustable shelves made of cherry wood. Shelves also have wire stoppers to secure objects in place. Standing 5-ft., 9-in. tall when assembled, the unit holds 297 CDs, 126 DVDs or 60 VHS tapes. Suggested retail is $80.
Model 2014 Gallery Towers, in black steel with matte finish, offers adjustable shelves and stands at the same height as its sister tower. It holds 306 CDs, 96 DVDs or 48 VHS tapes. Suggested retail is $70.
Using the same design principle, Atlantic said it soon will introduce variations of its existing Gallery collection, while experimenting with the use of different coatings and colors, as well as variations in color of wood and other materials. As consumers look for new products to house their CDs and DVDs, the company is working on corner and other storage units that are flexible in design and what they hold.
Although home storage accommodates the newest products, "the major media storage trend is DVD," said Jeff Fine, product manager at Fellowes. "It's the fastest growing media ever, and as a result, Fellowes is providing storage solutions that appeal to people who are expanding their current media collections to include the latest DVDs.
"Also, we're finding consumers need storage for both home and office, and that the products need to work with a variety of media — DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes," Fine said.
To this end, the Itasca, Ill.-based accessories maker will be coming out with two wire storage units in February 2003. The artistic wire storage racks are fashioned to look like wrought iron designs, making these classy accessories for any home or office. In addition to organizing wayward discs, the lightweight racks store media vertically, making it easier to find particular titles.
The metal DVD wire storage rack comes in two sizes that fit all standard DVDs — a 40- and 80-DVD unit. The metal CD wire storage tower also comes in two sizes that fit all standard CDs — a 60- and 120-CD unit. Suggested retails for the four wire storage racks have yet to be determined.
"Another trend," continued Fine, "is that media storage must offer unique, innovative design options that add value. Fellowes is introducing products that offer personality, style and value, so consumers can choose products for offices, dens, common areas — anywhere they need media storage."
An example would be Fellowes easily stackable Multimedia Storage rack, which doubles media storage without sacrificing space. "Our Wire Rack, which is due out in February, works with many media, while offering design for home or office," Fine said.
New from Laserline is a multimedia shelf system designed to hold CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes and virtually any other popular media. Made with a stylish oak look, the CD-240MM measures nearly 49 inches high by 13 inches wide, and has a suggested retail of $39.95. Availability is late September.
Laserline is concurrently introducing four additional wood-look multimedia rack systems, with suggested retails ranging from $19.95 to $39.95.
The newly formed company, based in Stamford, Conn., acquired the Laserline brand from Mead/Westvaco late last spring. "We're focused on restoring the Laserline brand as a leader and innovator in the industry," said William E. Mooar, president. "The predominant industry trend is toward multimedia storage systems that can accommodate the wide variety of media found in today's typical households," he said.
Added Ed Dougherty, Laserline executive VP, "Quality and value are always important to consumers, so we will be offering very competitively priced steel storage systems that provide an appealing alternative to the standard 'wire' devices offered elsewhere.
"With available wood, steel and plastic home storage products, Laserline offers a range of choices that fit today's lifestyles," Dougherty said.
Driven by consumers who no longer are enamored with the beauty of large jewel case collections, CD Projects (by Targus) is rolling out a new version of its Roladisc sleeve-based CD storage system. After 10 years on the market in different versions, the RD150 will show up this fall in a variety of retailers nationwide.
Roladisc units take massive amounts of CDs and consolidate them into tabletop storage indexes the size of card catalogs. CDs and corresponding liner notes fit neatly into double-sided sleeves, and the sleeves clip into customizable index at any point on the base. Anaheim, Calif.-based CD Projects puts the same clipping system in all CD Projects portable CD wallets for ease of transfer between portable cases and home storage units.
This year's retail version of the Roladisc also includes a component that physically connects the storage unit to other Roladiscs for larger CD capacity. Suggested retail for the RD150 is $19.99.
"The proliferation of CD burning and blank CD sales in the marketplace is changing the way consumers think of media storage products," said Dafna Zilafro, CD Projects marketing manager. "Blank CDs are purchased by the spindle, and sleeve-based storage options [like Roladisc] minimize the overall space required to catalog and store hundreds of CDs and CD-Rs.
CD binder cases, initially conceived as portable CD cases, far outsell jewel case racks, said Zilafro, and are quickly replacing jewel case racks as the product of choice for home media storage consumers.
The RD150, which holds up to 150 CDs, comes with a full set of 75 BubbleSleeves that clip in and out of all home units and portable carrying cases. The patented sleeves are designed to reduce contact between the delicate CD surface and storage sleeves by 50 percent, thus protecting them from dirt and dust.
Function and convenience highlight the Techpoint Rome-M DVD tower from Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Hakuba U.S.A . The tower is made of a combination of strong epoxy-coated metal wire and chrome-plated steel pipe, with a top and base of soft, natural wood.
The tall and slender storage unit can function as a space saver in any room, and is decoratively designed for both home and office. It features a slanting V-shape, is made of recycled materials and can hold up to 50 DVDs. Suggested retail is $34.99.
The Techpoint line — which features dozens of multimedia home storage products for DVDs, CDs and Zip discs, among others — is new to the United States this summer. Made by a Thailand-based furniture group, the line has exclusive distribution in the United States by Hakuba U.S.A, which is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Hakuba Photo Industry, a manufacturer and exporter of a wide range of photo, digital, audio and video accessories.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.