By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Sterling, Va. — Two extended-service providers to the CE industry have forged new partnerships. NEW, based here, said it is administering product replacement and service protection plans for hhgregg, covering CE, majaps and notebook computers. Accidental damage coverage is also available on camcorders, digital cameras and notebooks. "As we continue to expand our operations throughout the U.S., we feel NEW has the scale needed to support our growth," said the chain's sales VP Greg Throgmartin.
Separately, Iselin, N.J.-based RepairTech has selected AmTrust Financial Services as its new insurance underwriter. AmTrust, a multinational specialty, property and casualty insurer with assets in excess of $2 billion and a rating of "excellent" by A.M. Best, also operates its own extended-warranty administrator and provider, AMT Service Corp. "To better serve our [retail] clientele and the consumer, we determined that AmTrust provided both the financial strength and the integrity that would make them the perfect insurance company for the RepairTech extended-service contract," said president Joseph Saieda.
Atlanta — Sony Electronics' spokesman Rick Clancy began a nationwide, 40-day tour of all 42 Sony Style retail stores in an effort to "increase one-on-one consumer dialogue and feedback," the company said. To that end, Clancy is posting comments and videos on Sony's blog page, located at http://news.sel.sony.com/electronicsblog, based on conversations with consumers and store personnel he meets along the way. The undertaking, which will also include product demonstrations and discussions of new company initiatives, "will create an opportunity for people to connect with a human face of Sony," Clancy said. The tour wraps up July 11 at the Country Club Plaza store in Kansas City, Mo.
Richmond, Va. — A study commissioned by Circuit City found that more than one-half of dads would prefer an electronics gift (52 percent), compared with other items like clothing (16 percent) and sports gear (13 percent). The survey, promoted in time for Father's Day, also found that 75 percent of American dads believe that GPS navigation would be somewhat or very important to improve the quality of a family road trip this summer. Circuit City said only the cellphone ranks higher, at 93 percent, in consumer electronics products. The survey of over 4,000 dads was conducted by Decision Analyst of Arlington, Texas.
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.