By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Philadelphia— Leading brown- and white-goods distributor Almo Corp. has kicked off its summer and fall series of CE open house events. The regional trade shows feature new fare from such Almo vendors as Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Polaroid, Sharp and Westinghouse, as well as an educational angle. “Independent dealers need an opportunity to participate in the digital television revolution,” said CE VP Marc Shapiro. “Our open house events are a forum for these dealers to learn about how they can benefit from this opportunity.” The tour began earlier this month in Harrisburg, Pa., and will hit Milwaukee on July 27; Albany, N.Y., on Aug. 3-4; St. Louis on Aug. 17; Dallas on Aug. 23-24; and Nashville , Tenn., on Sept. 7-8. Almo will announce additional cities and dates as they are scheduled. For more information, call (800) 345-2566 or visit www.almo.com.
Colorado Springs, Colo.— Jennifer Glennon, owner of A Byte Above, here, received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Colorado Springs Business Journal for demonstrating “exceptional success in the growth and management” of her business. Her two-store chain, which sells PC systems, upgrades and support services, is a past recipient of the Excellence In Customer Service Award from the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, and was named one of Colorado's top 250 private companies and a top 100 female-owned business by ColoradoBiz Magazine. “We create an environment where customers can feel comfortable about asking questions and will get honest answers,” she said.
Bridgewater, N.J.— Harvey Electronics, the New York metro area specialty A/V chain, opened its ninth store last month. President/CEO Franklin Karp said the 4,500-square-foot showroom, located here, joins his eight other tri-state stores in showcasing “the pinnacle of world class audio, video and home theater … in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere.” The store's grand opening was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Bridgewater's mayor, and will continue with a month-long series of store specials, chain-wide sales and additional grand opening events. Harvey is a member of the Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) buying organization.
Boston— Best Buy will open its first lab store in China next year. The pronouncement, made by executive VP/general merchandise manager Ron Boire during a CIBC investment conference here this month, narrows the timetable from the 12- to 18-month target first announced last spring. At that time, vice chairman Al Lenzmeier described the country as an “attractive retail market” and a part of Best Buy's long-term growth strategy. The retailer opened a global sourcing office in Shanghai in 2003 to supply its growing private-label assortment.
Lombard, Ill.— The North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA) is conducting an online survey on the cost of doing business for dealers, co-sponsored by GE Retail Sales Finance/GECAF in partnership with the Professional Audio Retailers Association (PARA). The study will result in a Final CODB Report that benchmarks such key financial indicators as revenue and costs by product category, including extended warranties and installation/labor; ad dollars; Web site activity; and expenses such as taxes, rent, accounting, legal and wages. All information will remain confidential, and all respondents will receive a complimentary copy of the report, priced at $250. The survey can be accessed through Aug. 5 via the NARDA Web site at www.narda.com.
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.