By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Richmond, Va. — Circuit City will begin carrying some 20 proprietary products from Sharper Image. Plans call for the rollout of a large, dedicated fixture to all of Circuit City's more than 600 superstores nationwide, following a successful test of the concept this past summer. Circuit City chairman, president and CEO Alan McCollough said the Sharper Image products will enhance his chain's product selection, differentiate it from competitors and entice customers with "fun, innovative products" as the holiday season approaches. Added Sharper Image founder, chairman and CEO Richard Thalheimer, "Circuit City's strong national presence makes this an excellent opportunity for The Sharper Image to build its brand and its sales with a wider consumer audience."
Norcross, Ga. — The chief executive of Warranty Corp. of America, a leading independent extended service contract administrator, offered comment on the company's recent acquisition of Here2fix, the Web-based service plan provider. "We examined the Here2fix technology, sales approach and personnel," said chairman/CEO Glen Hammer. "By utilizing its innovative technology, like dynamic mapping as well as groundbreaking shipping solutions, we offer unparalleled automated service that results in a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace." Here2fix was designed to relieve merchants and manufacturers of the merchandising and back-office burdens of offering OEM and extended service plans, the company said, while its proprietary software and network of service providers allows consumers to obtain detailed troubleshooting, toll-free help desk assistance, and product repair from home.
Harrisburg, Pa.— New vendor agreements with Sony and Microsoft have prompted D&H Distributing to create a dedicated gaming division. Effective this month, the 84-year-old distributor will begin carrying the PlayStation One, PlayStation2 and Xbox game consoles, plus compatible titles from Sony Computer Entertainment America. D&H, which is the first new Xbox distributor since the product's launch last year, also plans to offer additional accessories and third-party software. According to VP/sales Jeff Davis, the company will target non-traditional gaming channels such as college bookstores, CE, broadband and home networking resellers, and its own Rite2u online service. "D&H's ability to leverage its varied customer base will bring about opportunities for gaming products in previously untapped markets," he said.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.— Sonance, the San Clemente, Calif.-based maker of architectural audio products, has named AVAD Southeast/Custom Solutions Distributing as its Distributor of the Year. "We are very honored to be chosen by Sonance and we will continue to strive to do our very best in order to achieve this award next year," said Lindsay Davis, the distributor's president. Sonance offers a complete line of premium, high-fidelity in-wall loudspeakers, multi-channel home theater speakers, subwoofers, whole-house multi-source systems, control systems, and amplifiers, cable and other architectural audio products.
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.