By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – In launching the JVC-branded 55-inch BlackSapphire FullHD LED edge-lit LCD TV, AmTran officially kicked off the next phase of its branded TV mission focused on expanding its dealer base by offering high value products with state-of-the-art features.
Drew Pragliola, AmTran Video sales and marketing VP, said the company’s distribution plan is to further push its expansion strategy from last year into the regional account channel and distributor partners.
Last year, the company launched the brand using its BlackCrystal line of CCFL backlit LCDs, offering affordable prices and advanced features.
Those sets and the JVC brand helped OEM resource AmTran’s branded operations top 1 percent marketshare.
This year, behind the addition of BlackSapphire TV products, Pragliola said the company expects to add “a minimum of .5 percent share by the 2013 holiday selling season.”
“Nationally, our account base includes Costco, and we’re looking at further expansion throughout 2012 as we continue to expand our product assortment,” Pragliola said. “Our terms for participation are reasonable and on a par with our competition. Ideally, we want our dealers to carry the full line, but we under that may be difficult when floor space is at a premium.”
AmTran currently uses D&H and Pioneer as full line distributor partners to handle non-direct accounts.
Top accounts so far include: Costco; PC Richards and Son, Paul’s TV, BrandsMart, HSN and Video Only.
“Looking ahead, we’re focused on expanding distribution to include 90 percent of NATM dealers as well as other national retailers,” Pragliola told TWICE.
So far, he said, the JVC brand has brought AmTran significant cache in establishing the major OEM resource’s branded marketing operations in the United States.
“The recognition and positive association with the JVC brand is extraordinary,” he said. “It’s one of the most well respected brands in the retail community, which has been immeasurably helpful when opening doors. But once inside we rely on the newly developed benefits that set our products apart from the competition.”
To get to the next level, AmTran will continue to stress its value message.
Our “most basic point is value – not just reasonable pricing, but an extensive feature set and stand-out benefits that translate to sales for retailers,” Pragliola told TWICE. “JVC is a trusted brand in the U.S., and we earn that trust with a customer service program that is second to none. We are a company that does what it says.”
The company will continue to employ its minimum advertised pricing program for all channels through 2013 and beyond, he added.
AmTran will maintain its brand positioning this year by continuing “to support our partners with regional funding to promote the brand within their selling environments while expanding targeted advertising to the trade and end-users,” Pragliola said.
He said dealers should consider doing business with JVC-TV because, “First and foremost, our world class manufacturing process is detail-focused; a -1 percent defective ratio exemplifies what sets our brand apart from others at the same price points.”
He continued, “Our products incorporate the latest technologies providing outstanding quality and performance throughout the entire line. In addition, we work with each retailer on an individual basis so that marketing and merchandising programs are tailored to their unique and specific needs.”
The latest BlackSapphire 55-inch JLE55SP4000, ($1,300 suggested retail) is an example of the advanced technology and added-value the company delivers, he said. It offers built-in internet connectivity, an ultra-thin bezel, passive-glasses-based 3D and LED edge lighting.
The set is also billed as “the first TV to feature a built-in Slingmedia app and Xinema Sound 3D.”
“We’re focused on maintaining the audio standards of the JVC brand with the incorporation of Xinema Sound 3D. At a time when most manufacturers are downgrading the audio package in their TVs we’re upgrading ours with enhanced power capacity and, in some models, the addition of a subwoofer,” he said.
“Part of the new 55-inch model’s value proposition is the cost savings that result from not having to add expensive outboard sound equipment in order to enjoy a true home theater experience. Add to that the inclusion of the Slingmedia app as well as extensive connectivity, and you have a true state-of-the-art product at a remarkably affordable price point.”
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.