By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
By combining ease of use with a lineup of features — all at a sharp price — the Thomson RCA-brand RCU300 remote control is designed to make the most demanding consumer's entertainment experience both simple and inexpensive.
And these features teamed to help the RCU300 become a best seller, with suggested vendor retail at $12.95.
For the 12-month period of May 2003 through April 2004, The NPD Group/NPD Techworld, headquartered in Port Washington, N.Y., tracked overall remote control product dollar sales at retail. During this time frame, the RCU300 finished second among the Top 10 remotes sold, accounting for $5.7 million and a 4.9 percent share of the overall $117.7 million held down by the 10 best dollar moving remotes.
Average retail for the RCU300 during the 12 months hit $9.22, according to NPD statistics, with the combined average price for the Top 10 remotes during the same period reaching $16.58. While the RCU300 average price was the lowest among the Top 10 remotes, average retails for two competing units were similar, coming in at $10.75 and $14.55. The highly featured units in the Top 10 ranged all the way up to average prices of $178.83, $524.50 and $1,163.25.
"The RCU300 has done very well for us in that it offers consumers a universal remote control that's simple to operate, features a user-friendly design and nice 'extras,' such as partial back-lighting and Code Search — all at a great value," said Dennis Rosiak, director of marketing for Thomson's consumer accessories solutions business.
"The RCU300 is able to operate most popular brands of television, VCR or DVD and DBS or cable devices." said Rosiak. "It's a great option for replacing lost or broken remotes for the primary entertainment centers in the living room, or in other rooms through the home, including bedrooms, kitchens, etc.
"The packaging of the RCU300 is designed to engage and help consumers make a quick determination of key features of the remote. It clearly calls out that the remote is universal, how many devices it controls and which brands it will operate, along with other key features such as back-lighting and Code Search." Rosiak said.
Noting that the RCU300 "is a great all-around value," Thomson said the remote comes in both black and metallic silver colors and can be purchased with or without two AAA batteries. The three-device unit, with sleep and VCR function keys, offers a mute key and 2-color keypad. It has a dedicated menu key for DVD navigation and is compatible with most major brands.
The universal remote is preprogrammed and is said to be easy to set up with the touch of a few buttons, either with manual entry of a product code or Code Search for over 140 different brands. A code saver allows for battery change without losing already-programmed codes.Top 10 Remote Controls
|Dollar sales at retail, May 2003 – April 2004|
|1. Sony RMAV3000|
|2. RCA RCU300|
|3. RCA RCU600|
|4. RCA RCU410|
|5. Sony RMV302|
|6. Philips TSU3000|
|7. Philips TSU6000|
|8. Marantz RC9200|
|9. Sony RMAV2100|
|10. Marantz RC5200|
|Source: The NPD Group|
© TWICE 2004
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.