By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Canton, Mass.— Tweeter Home Entertainment Group last month announced an initiative to boost sales in the home-installation category. As part of the plan, the company tapped a management team, called the In-Home Installation Directors, who will work closely with regional sales managers to implement nationwide procedures and policies for its custom installers. A 17-year company veteran, Bob Staples, was chosen as VP of in-home installation and will head the new team of directors. Other promotions include Michael Hoban, in-home installation director for New England; Frank MacGregor, director for the Mid-Atlantic region; Scott Nugent, director for Texas; and Patrick Ingram, Tweeter-West in-home installation director.
New York — Best Buy, Real Networks and EMI Music inked a deal to offer The Rolling Stones' post-1973 catalog through Rhapsody, RealNetworks' online music service, representing the first time that such records as "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street" are legally available in a downloadable format. For a limited time, ending in early September, digital downloads of The Rolling Stones' music were available only through Rhapsody, and Best Buy was the only brick-and-mortar retailer to sell Rhapsody subscriptions. The service, which costs $9.95 a month plus 79 cents per song, is being promoted at in-store interactive kiosks with a 14-day free trial offer.
Anaheim, Calif.— A/V specialty buying group Home Entertainment Source (HES) announced last month an expansion of its staff and services for its 230 members. To counter the lagging economy and big-box competitors, the CE arm of Brand Source/AVB has taken a few steps to make its independent members stronger. It recently opened an AVB warehouse that allows members to maximize turns by buying with the convenience of a distributor at direct pricing. In addition, a new Brand Source/HES online order system automates the ordering process, thereby reducing costs for the vendor. Other HES services now offered include group health packages and group extended warranty training as well as retail and wholesale finance tools.
Lombard, Ill.— The recently released "2003 NARDA Cost of Doing Business Survey" provides key financial benchmarks for the appliance, consumer electronics and furniture retailing industries, according to the North American Retail Dealers Association. Numbers include liquidity, safety, profitability, balance sheet management and operations management. Results are broken out by volume, region and most profitable dealer for each category. The survey is available for $295 ($195 for members) at www.narda.com or by calling (800) 621-0298.
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.