By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Irvine, Calif.—Ritz Interactive, a network of 10 e-commerce sites including RitzCamera.com, WolfCamera.com, CameraWorld.com and PhotoAlley.com, defied the weak economy by posting a 30-percent hike in first quarter sales. The company pointed to effective management strategies and the steadily increasing consumer demand for digital cameras and accessories as reasons for the solid gains.
Lyndhurst, N.J. — Harvey Electronics said fiscal second quarter net sales and comps slipped 3.5 percent, or $364,000, to $10 million. President Franklin Karp noted that the company's results "are down slightly but compare favorably to other reporting consumer electronics specialty retailers in the industry. Harvey's sales results were negatively impacted by restrained consumer spending prior to and during the Iraq war, as well as extreme winter weather conditions in the Northeast."
San Diego — GERS Retail Systems has announced that its annual user conference, Retail World 2003, will return to the Westin Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego on August 11-14. The theme of this year's show, "Framework for the Future," will be reflected in all sessions, workshops and seminars. The back-end solutions provider said it will place a special emphasis on how customers can leverage GERS' "new service-oriented architecture for retail systems technology, enabling a dynamic retail enterprise that can respond quickly and efficiently to changing business conditions." GERS has also updated its Retail Experience program, so show attendees can go behind the scenes to see how GERS solutions help manage businesses in a realistic retail setting. For more information and to register for the event, go to www2.gers.com/conf_rw/index.html.
Lombard, Ill. — The North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA) has become a sponsor of the Retail Owners Institute (ROI), a Web site devoted to finance training and forecasting. As a result of sponsorship, NARDA members can use the "practical, powerful retail financial training tools" offered on the ROI site at a discounted price, according to the association. Such tools include helping dealerships seek capital, applying for small business loans and raising credit lines. Members can access the site by going to www.NARDA.com, clicking on the ROI button, and then entering NARDA as the access code. NARDA is a 60-year-old retail trade group with a member base of independent majap, CE and furniture merchants in the Americas.
Atlanta — Since its launch seven years ago, installation and repair provider A-1 Home Services has built its business into a coast-to-coast resource with 525-plus technicians and six regional offices. Its nationwide coverage for major appliances and consumer electronics has helped it land a number of big-name clients, including Best Buy, Lowe's, The Home Depot, Whirlpool and LG, the company reports. "Installation and repair is often seen as a necessary evil, but we eliminate the headaches associated with this aspect of business and enable our customers to do what they do best — sell, manufacture and more importantly increase profits," said founder and CEO Steve Gordon. For more information, see www.a-1homeservices.com or call 1-800-920-8331, ext. 292.
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.