By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Home Entertainment Source (HES), the A/V specialty division of Brand Source, announced it has added Niles Audio and Integra brands to its lineup, and gave more details on its recent signing of Sony Electronics to its Expert Warehouse program during its reception here at CEDIA Expo.
Jim Ristow, HES general manager, said these agreements were in some cases "years in the making." The Niles and Integra announcements are on top of recent Expert Warehouse signings of Sony and LG Electronics, which join Pioneer's Elite, Samsung, Mitsubishi's Diamond series, Sharp and other top brands that are part of the program.
"These brands want to partner with the best of class dealers, which is why they have joined us," Ristow said.
James Fishler, Sony Consumer Sales strategic sales planning director, addressed the HES audience and said, "We have talked about [doing business] with HES, and we know we are doing the right thing."
Ristow cautioned his dealers that not all HES members will get the XBR and ES lines from Sony. This is a "controlled rollout," and the manufacturer is looking at members to make sure they meet the requirements to sell the lines, he said.
Keith Haas, sales director of Integra, concurred said that his company's deal was under discussion for some time and it "is the right time to do it."
Bob Lawrence, CEO of Brand Source, said the entire organization is "an $11 billion retail entity for appliance, consumer electronics and furniture, and the largest of its type in North America. Our goal is to be the largest retailer in any category we operate in" and "you will be the No. 1 CE entity in this marketplace."
Bob Cole, president of HES and founder/president of Bob and Ron's World Wide Stereo, said partnerships like this with suppliers are "a win-win for both of us. [Suppliers] survive and thrive" by selling profitably "and we do the same. We get it. And [our suppliers] get it too."
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