Diversity seems to be the theme in many industry developments in the past couple of weeks, as illustrated in this issue of TWICE.
Retail is more diverse than ever, and suppliers are being more visible than ever on the store level. Samsung has new departments with Best Buy. Sony and Microsoft are experimenting with new concepts, while LG is denying speculation it might open up its own stores in the U.S. And who would have expected a RadioShack franchisee carrying GE Appliances?
Well, for many electronics/appliance retailers, merchandise experimentation is not unexpected. As managing editor John Laposky reports, retailers are turning to a more diverse furniture lines, as well as outside-the-box merchandise such as musical instruments, outdoor furniture and grills, large fitness equipment and others to increase store traffic, which will increase sales and, hopefully, profits.
The Ultra HD TV (4K) market is getting more diverse with a new player — Seiki — with a 50-inch, $1,500 4K TV, which it announced right after Sony set its 4K Ultra HD TV pricing for its 55-inch ($5,000) and 65-inch ($7,000) sets that began selling at retail last week. We will soon see how Seiki will upset plans by Sony, LG Electronics and Samsung for higher margins for the category.
CES on the Hill, the annual visit to the Capitol last Tuesday of top exhibitors from January’s International CES, gave Congressional members and aides a close look at the diversity of products, and innovation in the industry today. Also take a look at the TWICE video from the event.
Dish’s offer to buy Sprint Nextel for $25.5 billion, if successful, could enable it to offer TV, broadband and wireless services in a bundle and, might, just might, get regional electronics/appliance retailers into the handset business. We’ll see.
Speaking of Dish, its president and CEO, Joe Clayton, an industry veteran and iconic CE leader, received the CEA’s Digital Patriots Award, and our heartiest congratulations go to Joe on this award.
Finally, our Portable Device section gets officially renamed to Smartphones & Tablets this issue. The section has been dominated by those two categories for the past couple of years, so time was overdue to make a change … and expect some expanded coverage in the near future.
As of last Monday, we are all Bostonians.
As the city grieves for those who died, tries to support their loved ones, cares for the injured, I am sure I am speaking for all who are reading this column that our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Boston.
This blog originally appeared as the editorial of TWICE’s April 22 print edition.