By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Home media storage — namely the racks and towers that dot living areas in homes across the country — remains primarily functional, but with a touch more design pizzazz.
With all types of DVD and CD media looking for a place to be found as well as seen, storage is becoming more multifunctional, but also is offering design elements that complement the upscale living demands of the newest consumer electronics technology purchasers.
“The economy shows signs of improvement, and consumers are buying more CDs and DVDs than ever,” said Leo Dardashti, president/CEO of Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-basedAtlantic.
To support this contention, Dardashti noted that the home video industry during the first six months of 2004 shipped 649 million DVD titles to retailers, a 52 percent increase over the year-ago period. And according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the surging popularity of DVDs, together with shorter release windows, will begin fueling home video sell-through at the expense of traditional rentals, said Dardashti.
“Not only are music and movie lovers buying more, but when it comes to a place to store their collections, consumers are insisting on home multimedia storage that fits into their lifestyle and décor.
“Atlantic develops products for the type of consumer that shops for multimedia storage like they would shop for an armoire or a traditional shelving unit,” said Dardashti. For example, the company's white Elf, a stand-alone unit, combines cool, crisp white [color] with steel to create a product of understated elegance and innovative design, he said.
Part of the company's White Collection, Atlantic has created Elf as a piece beautiful enough to be used as a decorative element, yet functional enough to satisfy the most discriminating consumer, continued Dardashti.
Each level adjusts individually to accommodate up to 464 CDs, 240 DVDs or 120 VHS tapes. In addition, it features plastic power-grip dividers with spring locks, to keep media organized and in place. Music and movie collections also can be inclined at two different angles for ease of viewing at different heights.
“Atlantic believes that multimedia storage should be not only practical, but stylish,” said Dardashti. “We pride ourselves on continuing to create innovative, style-driven, award-wining products that look at home in any environment. After all, multimedia storage isn't an afterthought anymore. It's a way of life.”
The white Elf, which measures about 55 inches high by 27 inches wide by nearly 11 inches deep, has a suggested $99.99 retail.
For Laserline, the color turns from white to black, as the Norwalk, Conn.-based company plans to promote its black wire home storage products during the fourth quarter.
“Clean simplicity seems to be what consumers are looking for this half,” said Jack Graham, VP/sales. “Our research indicates that consumers want a no-fuss approach to storage, but like visual interest. These units are perfect because they provide both,” he said.
The Laserline black wire towers hold up to 160CDs and 120 DVDs. The lightweight, compact, but ultra-sturdy design is perfect in any application, according to the company. The slanted design complements contemporary home interiors, while the clean lines have proven to be a favorite in traditional settings as well.
All Laserline wire towers feature a “knock-down” design, which provides a smaller footprint on the sales floor, as well as the warehouse. The base and connectors are said to be very easy to assemble, with no tools required.
The CD160TWRB, at a suggested $27.99 retail, holds double-CDs and multidisc magazines. The lightweight black wire design provides compact, organized storage, and the slanted open shelves allow ease of access and CD viewing.
The DVD120TWRP, at a suggested $32.99 retail, holds double-DVDs and multidisc magazines. It also features lightweight black wire design and slanted open shelving.
Disc Studio 100, from Austin, Texas-based CD3 Storage Systems, maker of discgear-brand home storage, is said to be a “simpler, sleeker and smarter” method to store some 100 discs. The unit is stackable, up to three high, and organizes disc titles with a built-in index sheet.
Disc Studio 100, which recently has been added to the company's Web site, offers disc packets made with protective cloth, removable dual-packets that fit a satellite unit, and a two-part index system that makes finding discs easier.
“The Disc Studio 100 is a convenient and stylish way to store any disc collection,” said Amy McNulty, marketing associate. “With each unit housing 100 discs in only 9 inches of space and being stackable up to three units high, you can store any size collection in less than half the space of typical disc storage devices.”
Each unit features individual sleeves that pop out and fit into a compatible portable carrying case, called the Satellite. The individual sleeves in the Disc Studio fan out for ease of viewing and convenient access to every disc. The unit includes a fashionable art deco design that makes a style statement while consumers store their music or movie collection. Suggested retail is $34.95.
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