By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Richard Glikes, executive director of the Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) buying group, announced that the organization's theme for 2007 is "the engine is reinvention" at a reception held Jan. 6 at the Treasure Island resort during International CES.
Glikes said he expected the organization to "reinvent" itself and alluded to an evolution in focus, saying the flat-panel TV business has "commoditized" and that the group's members will have to augment their collective focus toward up-and-coming trends and technologies as they come along. "We're going to morph … change our model one more time," Glikes told the crowd.
According to Glikes, HTSA might adjust its focus from a "TV-centric model to a PC-centric model," explaining that he thinks there is a future in providing solutions that offer more than a video-centric experience. "I think we're in a new era," he said. "We need to be different than we are now."
By way of example, Glikes told TWICE that he saw potential in areas like home networking, audio and lighting technologies.
It would appear that Glikes' instinct to encourage a change in business model is not coming from a desire to overcome hardship but perhaps rather to maintain a steady trajectory of growth. Overall, Glikes said that nearly all of the group's members saw a rise in profits in 2006 with most members up between 5 percent and 15 percent and some up as much as 35 percent.
As for the holiday season, Glikes told TWICE that a recent poll of HTSA members showed that they had a "very good November" with both high volumes and margins, followed by a "challenging" December.
Glikes said that December volume remained high but "profits were not as satisfying." He said "there was never the intensity that there was on Black Friday."
The purpose of the HTSA-hosted event was to announce the winners of the organization's annual vendor awards. Glikes presented the awards and the winners were:
Vendor of the Year: Monster Cable;
Most Profitable Vendor: Integra;
Most Supportive Vendor: LG;
Product of the Year: Sharp LC52D92 flat panel LCD TV
Custom Product of the Year: Kaleidescape Media Server; and
Man of the Year: Mikio Katayama, audio/visual systems and large LCD business corporate senior executive director, Sharp.
HTSA will next convene March 11-14 at The Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Ga., for a "Soigné Soirée," the group's 11th annual spring event.
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.