By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CES 2104 Las Vegas - National CE and IT distributor New Age Electronics named Conn’s as its 2013 Dealer of the Year last night at its annual CES customer appreciation gala at Caesars Palace, where guests were also entertained by Denver rock band The Fray.
Conn’s, the multiregional regional furniture, bedding, majap and CE chain, was selected based on its strong year-over-year revenue growth, close executive alignment, strategic partnership, sourcing of multiple brands and a consistent positive credit standing, the distributor said.
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.
Las Vegas – The first ProSource board of directors was announced here this week, marking the formal merger of the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group) and the Home Entertainment Source (HES) buying groups.
The announcement was made on the eve of International CES at PRO Group’s traditional Monday night reception at Bally’s, which was co-sponsored this year by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
Las Vegas – National CE and IT distributor New Age Electronics has expanded its portfolio of emerging technologies with the exclusive additions of Google’s Chromecast, Pivothead wearables and personal robotics from WowWee.
The announcements were made this week at International CES.
Chromecast is a $35 HDMI dongle that allows users to stream online content to their TVs via their computers or mobile devices. A growing base of “castable” apps includes Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Google Play Movies and Music, and the Chrome browser.
Las Vegas – Holiday sales of the core TV, PC, tablet and headphone categories rose 3.7 percent to $9.5 billion during the critical five weeks between Nov. 24 and Dec. 28, The NPD Group reported, compared to a year-ago rise of 1 percent.
The categories, which include desktop and notebook PCs, represent the top five CE product sectors by revenue, excluding mobile phones, Kindle tablets and e-readers, and video game hardware and software.
CES 2014 Las Vegas – While bad weather and home delivery issues caused headaches for retailers during the holiday season, overall the participants in TWICE’s annual CES Retail Roundtable, moderated by TWICE retail editor Alan Wolf, reported were generally upbeat.
Steve Baker, VP of industry analysis for The NPD Group, said when everything was tallied together about $22 billion was spent during the holidays, up about 5 percent from 2012. Black Friday sales alone were around $4.9 billion, up about 10 percent, he noted.
Indianapolis – h.h.gregg said its decision to stay above the promotional fray during the holiday season hurt sales.
According to preliminary estimates, net sales fell 11.6 percent to $707.1 million, and comp sales decreased 11.2 percent, for the third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, 2013.
The chain’s computing and wireless category took the biggest hit, with comps falling about 24.5 percent, while its CE business, largely comprised of TV, decreased approximately 20 percent.
New York — Strong sales of video games, TVs and Apple products, particularly during Thanksgiving weekend and late December, helped make Best Buy “the holiday winner,” retail analyst David Strasser reported.
Strasser, who covers hardline retail for Janney, Montgomery, Scott, estimated that Best Buy’s November-December comp sales rose about 2 percent in the U.S. on top of flat prior-year performance, driven by aggressive promotions.
New York – Many retailers were open on Thanksgiving Day, so why not New Year’s?
According to a retail rundown by International Business Times, a slew of national chains plan to open their doors tomorrow with modified hours and the first sales promotions of 2014.
Chester Springs, Pa. – Azione Unlimited (AU), the education and buying group for custom retailers and integrators, has selected the term “Elevate” as its theme for 2014.
According to AU founder Richard Glikes, elevate reflects four goals for the organization: Raising labor prices and efficiencies; selling more expensive brands and models within these brands; improving the level of salesmanship; and implementing best practices that six AU committees are now developing.
Tustin, Calif. – Bob Lawrence plans to step down as CEO of the BrandSource buying group by the end of 2014.
A search committee led by BrandSource dealers will begin an internal and external hunt for his successor beginning in January.
Lawrence, who has headed the $14 billion operation since 1994, told TWICE “It’s time for some new blood and new ideas.”