By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Gulfport, Miss.— In response to the impact of Hurricane Katrina, Best Buy is opening a one-of-a-kind store in the hard-hit Gulfport/Biloxi area. The new unit, to be housed in an abandoned grocery store, will focus exclusively on selling in-demand items that meet the needs of the community, including major appliances, commercial furniture, computers and Geek Squad services. The store will be staffed by over 100 new employees, nearly all of whom reside within the immediate area.
Charlottesville, Va. — In response to growing consumer demand, Crutchfield has launched a Spanish language version of its renowned CE e-commerce site at www.crutchfieldenespanol.com. Crutchfield utilized MotionPoint's proprietary TransMotion technology to provide a complete Spanish language user experience from homepage to checkout. “Crutchfield pioneered Spanish-speaking sales advisors more than 10 years ago,” said founder/CEO Bill Crutchfield. “Recently, our sales advisors told us that a growing number of their customers wanted to research and purchase their consumer electronics online in their native language. We are excited to be able to respond.”
Lyndhurst, N.J. — Harvey Electronics has put off plans to take the company private. The New York metro area A/V specialty chain had been planning a series of stock transactions that would have allowed it to de-register its stock, thus saving over $500,000 a year in compliance costs and other reporting fees under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Harvey decided to delay the move after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) put off mandatory compliance for one year. “We are very pleased with the SEC's action postponing the imposition of Section 404, which would have been very onerous for the company,” said president/CEO Franklin Karp.
Chicago— Apollo Data Technologies has released a new software tool that allows retailers to predict product order levels weeks into the future across their entire store chain. The company's Inventory Forecasting Solution uses data mining and predictive analytics to accurately foretell sales trends, prevent out-of-stocks and determine proper inventory levels to keep overstocking costs to a minimum. The software is platform agnostic and pluggable into chains' existing supply chain management systems, immediately allowing retailers to “efficiently predict inventory and the potential to increase sales by hundreds of millions of dollars,” said principal Jeff Kaplan.
Atlanta— NASCAR driver Carl Edwards and his Office Depot team celebrate his second-place qualification in the Nextel Cup competition at the Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this season. Edwards, driving his Office Depot Ford, went on to take the checkered flag on lap 325 for the win. “All of us at Office Depot are so proud of Carl Edwards and the entire No. 99 Office Depot team for this terrific win,” said Chuck Rubin, the chain's executive VP/chief merchandising marketing officer. This year marks Office Depot's first season of NASCAR sponsorship.
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.