By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Brightstar will acquire the distribution, inventory and fulfillment assets of InPhonic and will become InPhonic's exclusive provider of hardware (wireless handsets, SIM cards and accessories), direct-to-customer distribution, on-hand inventory, value-added customization and logistics;
Brightstar will make a $5 million equity investment in InPhonic representing approximately 2.5 percent of InPhonic's outstanding shares;
Brightstar will leverage InPhonic's online activation and enablement platform for its existing consumer businesses. Brightstar serves approximately 11,000 points of sale in the United States with some of the most recognized retail store brands;
Brightstar also serves approximately 160,000 points of sale worldwide providing both companies global expansion opportunities with their new combined capabilities.
Harrisburg, Pa. — D&H Distributing is expanding its D&H Incentives customer rewards program by adding more than 1,000 digital home and consumer electronics products to the list of merchandise that qualifies for program points. The additional products were available starting in September and are from a number of manufacturers new to the program including Samsung, JVC, Philips, SanDisk and others. The company said that there are now 29 different manufacturers participating in the program from the IT, consumer electronics and home entertainment realms.
Seattle — The EDGE Distributors Group has entered a new relationship with D'Addario & Co.'s Planet Waves custom installation products division. EDGE will now carry Planet Waves HD 24-karat gold-plated solderless and nickel-plated connectors, high-definition bulk cable, tolls and cable management CI products.
Charlottesville, Va. — The Advantage Group (TAG) will distribute Terrestrial Digital antennas to its custom installer and system integrator members.
In other news, TAG members in the both the Rocky Mountains (HCA Distributing) and New England (PDQ Distributing) have expanded their showroom and warehouse facilities. Denver-based HCA Distributing has moved to a new location offering over twice the square footage of its previous location, according to a release. PDQ Distributing of Peabody, Mass., has also moved to a new location, which is said to have tripled its warehouse space.
Powder Springs, Ga. — Marketing Technology Group (Martech) is opening a new 12,500-square-foot facility west of Atlanta. The facility features full offices for Martech and its distributing arm Custom Distributing, work rooms, a waiting area, a separate customer pick up area, a demo room and a training facility.
In other news, Custom Distributing has been named a finalist in Inc. Magazine's 2007 Inc. 5000, said to recognize the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the United States. The competition is judged based on revenue growth from 2003 to 2006.
Washington — Brightstar has entered a definitive agreement to form a new strategic alliance with InPhonic. Upon the close of the agreement, the new relationship would have the following four principal components:
Scottsdale, Ariz. — DBL Distributing has entered a distribution partnership with Lowrance, a maker of GPS and monitoring units for the mobile and marine navigation markets.
In other news, DBL also recently signed a distribution deal with dreamGEAR, the supplier of video game and iPod/MP3 accessories.
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.