By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Conn’s Continues Its Southwest Expansion
MESA, ARIZ. – Conn’s, the multiregional furniture, bedding, majap and CE chain, has opened its second furniture-focused HomePlus showroom in Arizona and the first in the Phoenix metro area. Conn’s first entered the state last December in Tucson, and opened its first New Mexico location in November. It now operates two stores there, in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, and will soon extend into Nevada.
The company said it plans to open 10 to 12 new stores in total this year, including additional locations in Arizona, and will begin upping the pace of expansion in 2015. It ultimately envisions itself as a 200-store chain that spans the southern tier of the U.S. from Colorado to the Carolinas.
Almo Expands Facilities
PHILADELPHIA — National majap and CE distributor Almo has opened a second distribution center (DC) at its corporate campus, here, to house luxury appliances and returns. The new facility features 120,000 square feet of high-bay space and 12 dock doors, raising the company’s total Philadelphia warehousing capacity to 275,000 square feet and 30 truck docks.
As part of the planned expansion, Almo’s original DC was outfitted last year with an automated pick/ pack/ship system for smaller products, while the new warehouse is equipped to handle large-format items. The Philadelphia complex is one of eight regional DCs operated by the 67-year-old business across the U.S., totaling more than 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space.
Digital Projection, Stewart Train Azione
KENNESAW, GA. — Digital Projection (DP) and Stewart Filmscreen joined forces to conduct training for Azione Unlimited (AU) buying group members at DP headquarters, here, earlier this month. The twoday residential training focused on front- and rearprojection technologies and bringing attendees up to speed on new products and solutions from both vendors.
Twelve integrators participated in the training, which was conducted by Ken Eagle of DP and Jim Groover of Stewart Filmscreen. “This educational opportunity is just another way AU continues to arm its dealers with the tools to reap higher profits,” said AU president Richard Glikes. Added Eagle, “Successful A/V integrators do not become successful because they win a sale, but rather by the effort they spend learning, training and honing their skills to be ready when the business opportunity presents itself.”
Frosch Forms New Warranty Products Firm
CHICAGO — Mike Frosch, formerly president of The Warranty Group, has launched a new firm that develops and implements innovative warranty and specialty products to drive customer acquisition and retention. The new business, Personal Safeguards Group (PSG), will serve retailers, manufacturers and affinity companies through a wide array of partnerships that support warranty and specialty programs. For more information, visit Personal SafeguardsGroup.com.
HTSA Holds Three-Day Summer Summit
BARRINGTON, ILL. — Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) gathered in Chicago earlier this month for the buying group’s three-day Marketing Summit II. The summit featured educational presentations and collaborative workshops, all designed to increase “the reach and authority of specialty integrators and retailers,” the group said.
Speakers included HTSA managing director Bob Hana and marketing director Kathleen Marini, plus Google relationship specialist Sher Kahn and author and trainer Heather Lutze, who addressed socialmedia marketing and best practices for keyword optimization, content generation and social-media profiles.
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.