By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) celebrated its 10th anniversary during its annual vendor awards event at International CES, held here at the Treasure Island hotel.
The recognition of outstanding companies, products, and people has been an HTSA tradition for the last five years, the buying group noted. Votes were cast by the members in December and ratified by the HTSA board.
Richard Glikes, executive director of the group, commented right before he presented the awards that sales last year “would have been up 40 percent if there were no product shortages” but were up “15 to 25 percent on average with shortages.”
He addressed vendors in the audience with tongue-in-cheek (we think) about shortages by saying, “Next year, no excuses.”
The award winners were:
Most Profitable Vendor: SpeakerCraft, for the third consecutive year
Most Supportive Vendor: Monster Cable, which has “clearly demonstrated their beliefs in HTSA initiatives,” Glikes said.
Product of the Year: Hitachi Home Electronics for its “striking” 55HDX62 plasma TV
Custom Product of the Year: Stewart Filmscreen for the Cinecurve Screen and Runco's Autoscope projectors
Vendor of the Year: Sharp Electronics, for creating stunning products, showing unparalleled support, and enhancing the ability of HTSA members to achieve outstanding sales for the year, Glikes said.
Man of the Year: Bob Perry of LG Electronics “based on his tenacious, fair, bright, ambitious tough and tender” leadership, according to Glikes.
In other news, Aurant, a custom home installer based here, has joined HTSA as the buying group's 56th member.
Aurant began business in 1989 as Audition Systems under its founder and current principal owner Rich Barra, and last month hired Jeffrey Anderson as CEO. The company has a 6,500-square-foot showroom with six home theater demo rooms featuring systems priced from $10,000 to $500,000. Aurant's specialty is complex automation systems that control everything from home theaters and window treatments to snow melting driveways and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
According to HTSA, Aurant's annual sales have increased an average of over 20 percent for the last three years, with half of all revenue derived from installations over $500,000. The company is also a top ten dealer for such premium vendors as Runco, Crestron, Wilson and B&W.
Barra said he joined HTSA because “Besides the obvious, to save money at the end of the year, my friends in the organization recommended we join. We have a lot to give in the custom arena and a lot to learn on the retail side of things.”
Richard Glikes, executive director of HTSA, said, “We have tried to cultivate this relationship for three years. HTSA does have the finest custom retailers in the industry in one organization. We do not do the most business, just the best business.”
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