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Mitek announced at International CES it is expanding its Xtant brand in an alliance with the newly formed Brand Source/Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA) buying group.
The company is also entering the front-seat OEM integration market under its new Civita line.
To expand Xtant to select retailers, Mitek will offer its line to Brand Source Mobile Entertainment Source (MES) retailers, giving them "the right of first refusal" to carry the line until July, said John Ivey, senior VP of the CE group.
Currently Xtant is sold through only 15 to 20 dealers.
MES retailers will be offered 20-mile radius geographic protection as well as Internet protection, said Ivey. Xtant's contract states that the brand will not be sold in big-box retailers, he said, claiming the brand carries 50 point margins.
"I'm looking to build the next holy-cow brand," said Ivey, who is targeting a cap of 150 dealers.
Xtant was initially launched in the early to mid 1990s but became over-distributed, said Ivey. Three years ago, the company cancelled many of its dealer contracts and "hand-picked a few dealers."
A new line of three amplifiers, subwoofers and the brand's first component speakers in 10 years, will ship in mid-March. These include a 400-watt by 4 amplifier, 600 watt mono and 300-watt by 2 amplifier with teak and rosewood panels, and a stain kit to match five different car interiors at an entry price of a suggested $399. A top-of-the-line amplifier carries a suggested retail of $2,000.
The new woofers feature leather cones in 10-inch and 12-inch sizes in a hexagonal shape starting at $449. New component speakers have wood cones in 5.25-, 6.5- and 6- by 9-inch sizes and an entry price starting at a $299 suggested retail. The thin layers of leather or wood are formed around a traditional style cone to improve rigidity, said Mitek.
In front-seat integration, Mitek is offering factory add-on iPod/auxiliary input kits. They plug into the satellite radio and CD changer ports in 60 percent of factory radios, said the company. The kits will ship at the end of February at a suggested retail of $159.
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.