By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Remote start retailers got what they wanted for Christmas this year — a cold winter — which has helped boost sales by over 50 percent at some stores.
In addition, sales continue to improve, even in warmer climates, leading several suppliers to expect double-digit gains this year.
DEI said sales were up by double digits due to both the cold winter and the increasing interest in hybrid security/remote systems in warmer areas.
AstroStart, Manchester, N.H., said its sales are up 15 percent for North America due to interest from new markets such as Kentucky and Virginia, as well as the cold winter, noted Roger Klene, sales VP.
Northeast retailers also said the remote season is lasting longer this year, due to the lingering cold. "I thought it would just go through the holidays," said Rob Lewis, owner of the Original Pirate Radio, Manchester, Conn., "but its come right into February and we're still booked up three and four days ahead of time. I'd say we're up at least 50 percent."
Tweeter said its sales for December rose 27 percent over the prior year, and Steve Medeiros, owner of Sound FX, West Warwick, R.I. said sales are up 24 percent. "It's huge. We do a lot of remote starts anyway; we did a few thousand last year. This year, we tried to leverage it, we advertised a little earlier and the weather cooperated. It's up in units and dollars," he noted.
Action Electronics, Newington, Conn., reported sales for the season are up about 20 percent in gross dollars. Owner Mark Gebeloff, among others, said sales of higher ticket remote starts are also improving.
Car Toys, Seattle senior VP Jim Warren agreed. "Were finding the $400 to $600 integrated units with two-way communication are doing extremely well and that product has been extremely well received by installer salespeople and the public alike. It's a nice high-end business in the security category," he said.
In warmer areas, Monterey Park, Calif.-based chain Al & Ed's Autosound, said the company is planning a concerted push on the category this year.
Warren added, "We try to push it in warmer climates and we do see a bit of a bump in Houston in the summer."
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.