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HES To Dealers: Embrace Home Technology

3/29/2010 08:59:18 AM Eastern

Dallas - Home Entertainment Source (HES) is
urging dealers to add home control to their repertoires to help offset margin
declines in their core A/V businesses.

 From left, SpeakerCraft’s Chris Lehnen and Jeremy Burkhardt accept HES’s Most Supportive Vendor of the Year Award from group head Jim Ristow

Executive VP Jim
Ristow yesterday outlined a new model to members attending the group's 2010
Spring Summit, here, in which dealers become "integrators that do A/V
specialty," rather than A/V specialists that provide limited integration

"That's where we
can go to make money," he said. "Gaming, IP, IT, A/V -- only we can pull it all

Home control is
one of several areas that members should pursue in this time of "hope and
opportunity," he said, including 3D and rear- and front-projection TV, whose
large picture and fast refresh rate provide a better 3D experience.

opportunities include video-on-demand, which he deemed a saleable feature in
TV, as well as plasma displays and audio.

None of the
options alone will provide a home run, Ristow said, although together they can
provide "lots of singles" and important margin opportunities.

He added that
those who adapt to the new marketplace realities by changing their business
models will be rewarded for their resiliency and perseverance. "A whole new
market is about to explode," he said. "The good-old days are gone -- you need
to renew and reinvent."

In other HES news,
Ristow reported that the group's Expert Warehouse instant-rebate portal became
operational in January, and that about two-thirds of members are utilizing it.
The online tool, which consolidates claims, reduces administrative costs and
reduces average payment time from two to three months to 15 days, could recoup
as much as $10 million in unclaimed funds if all 550 members participated, he

The annual HES
meeting and buying show is running concurrently with its AVB parent group's
BrandSource Spring Summit here at the Hilton Anatole Hotel through Tuesday. CEO
Bob Lawrence, who will address the AVB rank and file in a general session this
morning, told TWICE that the summits are enjoying "the best attendance ever,"
and reported that the Expert Warehouse distribution program is "rapidly
approaching $1 billion in sales."

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