Trevose, Pa. - National
CE and majap distributor Almo Corp. celebrated its 65th anniversary
at the first of four Expo dealer shows here yesterday.
The Mid-Atlantic Expo,
held at the Radisson Northeast near Almo headquarters in Philadelphia, drew
dealers, e-tailers, custom installers and system integrators who shopped over 40
manufacturers including Electrolux, Monster, Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic and
Pioneer, and attended a day-long series of seminars and vendor training
"It's all about customer
education and becoming a better businessperson," president/COO Warren Chaiken
told TWICE. "The Expos also give our customers a chance to talk to the vendor
community, and provide another way for them to see product."
included primers on social networking and attachment selling; how-to's on the
display and demo of 3D and connected TVs and tablet computers; and reviews of
Frigidaire's and Samsung's spring majap lines.
The latter include
Frigidaire's new high-efficiency, 3.4-cubic-foot top-load washer, due out in
the third quarter, and Samsung's $3,500 four-door refrigerator with
Wi-Fi-enabled LCD display that will ship in late May, early June.
The family-held business
has also beefed up its small appliance assortment, added Jawbone to its vendor
roster, is looking to add several more brands to its Samsung and Coby tablet
selection, and is considering entering the smartphone and mobile market. "We're
trying to offer as much merchandise as we can that makes sense for our
dealers," Chaiken explained.
Chaiken said business for
Almo and its customers is good and steadily improving but choppy, and sees the
greatest short-term challenges in high gasoline prices, appliance cost increases
and potential product shortages stemming from the calamity in Japan.
"We haven't seen anything
significant yet" within the supply chain, he said, although given the amount of
inventory already in the pipeline, "It would be about 60 days before anything
The company is also
experiencing solid growth in its two-year-old Professional A/V division, led by
executive VP/COO Sam Taylor, which provides commercial flat panel displays and
audio systems to the hospitality, government, educational, corporate, house of
worship and medical channels.
Taylor's division held
the first of four planned E4 buying shows earlier this month in Dallas and San
Francisco and will bring the event to Chicago and New York in the fall.
Meanwhile, Almo's Expos will continue July 19-20 in St. Louis, Aug. 2 in
Toledo, Ohio, and Aug. 11 in Minneapolis.
The company capped off
yesterday's Mid-Atlantic event with a buffet dinner and an awards ceremony honoring
vendor partners including Panasonic, Pioneer and Electrolux.