By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Members of the Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) and their vendor guests celebrated the close of a successful holiday selling season and the start of a promising new year at the buying group's annual CES gathering here earlier this month at the Venetian Hotel.
In his address to the crowd, executive director Richard Glikes thanked his dealers and vendors for persevering through "three-quarters of a very difficult year" for the group, and then "coming on strong and knocking the ball out in the last quarter."
Glikes attributed the fourth-quarter rebound to the recovering economy, a successful ad insert campaign that "drove business to our dealers," and members' premium product lines and service. "We're one-to-one with consumer confidence," he told TWICE. "The stock market got better, war trepidation dissipated and people started spending money again. And if you want upscale merchandise, if you want to spend $5,000, your going to come to us."
Home Theater Store's Mihir Mody, 2004 president of HTSA, concurred. "We had a great fourth quarter while the mass merchants and other nationals didn't. For us, it's not about discounts. Price is not an issue. It's about finding the right solution for our clients."
At the gathering, HTSA also pre-announced that Fujitsu would be named Vendor of the Year, and welcomed Suess Electronics aboard as the 47th member of the group. The 53-year old business, based in Appleton, Wis., operates an 18,000- square-foot facility and will open a 30,000-square-foot store early this year that will feature nine home theater rooms, two custom installation rooms, a 1,000 square foot automated home and a full service center.
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.