By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart has further expanded its CE offering with the addition of satellite broadband Internet access through Hughes Network Systems. The company’s HughesNet service will be sold in 2,800 Wal-Mart stores across the United States, although it should generate the most interest among customers in rural areas where terrestrial broadband services such as cable or DSL are unavailable. Wal-Mart will sell the two-way service at its Connect Center service areas and Digital Connection kiosks located within the chain’s CE departments. Plans range from download speeds of 700Kpbs to 2.0Mbps, with prices starting at $60 a month, excluding installation.
Irving, Texas — More than 16 percent of consumers say they would stop visiting a retail store all together as a result of a bad customer experience, according to a recent online survey of 12,000 shoppers and in-store audits of some 4,000 CE and office supply stores by M/A/R/C Research and National In-Store. At the same time, 95 percent of consumers shopping CE and home improvement stores feel it is important to have sales associates that can assist them. Concluded M/A/R/C research manager Erika Cinicolo, “While product and price may bring customers in the door, executing the expected level of customer service keeps them from walking out.”
New York — Area A/V and IT specialty retailer DataVision will co-sponsor a benefit concert and auction Nov. 29 featuring performers Ashanti and Shaun Kingston. The event will aid The Stella Liniado Rainbow Foundation — named in honor of DataVision principal Albert Liniado’s late daughter — which supports childhood cancer research and family counseling. Nokia and Intel are also co-sponsoring the fundraiser, which will be held at the Nokia Theater in Times Square.
Newark, Del. — Theater Xtreme, a chain specializing in front projector-based home theater installations, opened its newest franchise location Oct. 3 in Draper, Utah, a Salt Lake City suburb. The store is operated by Tyler Compton, who also operates the chain’s Boise, Idaho location.
Chatsworth, Calif. — Winterborne, the packaging and display solutions provider, unveiled with strategic partner Sencorp a new EnviroShell shuttle sealer during last week’s Pack Expo in Los Angeles. Engineered to accept sustainable packaging materials including such plastics as PLA, RPTET and PET, the machine can heat seal corrugated board-to-board faster than other leading sealers, can accommodate two different package configuration simultaneously, and can handle warehouse club-sized packaging with a 50 percent faster throughput than comparable machines, the companies said. EnviroShell, Winterborne’s flagship product, is described as a leading, environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional PVC and PET blister and clamshell packaging.
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.