By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – RadioShack will open a 1960s-themed store in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday, the second of its “custom concept” formats in the country.
The new shop, located on East 42nd Street, adjacent to Grand Central Station, pays homage to the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens with a hanging Unisphere; 1960s art, colors and materials; and videos that evoke the event.
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.
Barrington, Ill. – The Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) said it “is poised for further growth and an influential new year,” supported by a year-long calendar of member and vendor events.
The buying group for custom integrators said it is building off of a successful 2013 and is “focused on fueling contagious synergy” this year with stronger vendor-member collaboration, heightened member communications and increased integration of new marketing initiatives.
Bentonville, Ark. – Walmart said comp sales at its flagship discount stores and Sam’s Club wholesale chain were down slightly for the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, despite positive holiday comps.
The world’s largest retailer attributed the downturn to severe winter weather that impacted traffic throughout the quarter, and the sales impact of a reduction in federal food assistance benefits on Nov. 1.
New York – Dealers and their buying group representatives are giving a big thumbs-down on a possible Kindle-based checkout system reportedly developed by Amazon.com.
According to a report this week by the Wall Street Journal, the e-tailer may begin offering the checkout system, and other services like website development and data analysis, to brick-and-mortar retailers as early as this summer.
Updated Seattle – Amazon.com reported a 146.4 percent spike in its fourth-quarter net income, to $239 million, and a full-year profit of $274 million following the prior year’s $39 million loss.
But despite the return to profitability, the e-tailer’s shares sank in after-hour trading as earnings fell short of forecasts and off-shore sales growth slowed.
Indianapolis — hhgregg said steep holiday promotions and a lack of channel discipline within the CE industry led to falling profits and sales during its third fiscal quarter, ended Dec. 31.
Net income fell 71 percent to $5 million on net sales of $707 million, which decreased 11.6 percent from the prior-year period due to a comp-store sales decline of 11.2 percent.
New York — On the afternoon before the Super Bowl, Harman, sponsor of the NFL Alumni Association and Pro Football Hall of Fame, is hosting Super Bowl-winning quarterback and ESPN announcer Joe Theismann in its flagship New York City store.
Visitors will have a chance to meet Theismann and get autographs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. when he joins NBC Sports Radio and Erik Kuselias as “The Erik Kuselias Super Bowl Saturday Special Show” broadcasts live from the store.
The Woodlands, Texas – Conn’s has opened four more HomePlus locations, bringing its store count up to 80.
Two of the stores are located in the recently opened markets of Arizona (Chandler) and New Mexico (Albuquerque), and the other pair is in the company’s core markets of Texas (Amarillo) and Louisiana (Shreveport).
It is expected to open its first stores in Colorado this quarter.
Tarzana, Calif. — Mike Pontelle, a 50-year veteran of the consumer electronics industry, passed away on Jan. 22 in Woodland Hills, Calif., at the age of 70.
Pontelle spent the last 20 years of his career in consumer electronics with Amplifier Technologies (ATI) in various positions, including national sales manager, and general manager of Theta Digital, according to Jeff Hipps, senior VP of ATI.
Fort Worth, Texas – RadioShack has replaced its eight-month-old “Let’s Play” branding campaign with a new theme that emphasizes the chain’s customer support.
The new slogan, “It Can Be Done, When We Do It Together,” speaks to the brand’s ability to collaborate with consumers to help them discover what is possible through technology, the company said.