By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TOKYO – Japanese CE manufacturers reported improved sales and profitability for either its third quarter or first nine months of its fiscal year, ended Dec. 31, 2013, due to a mixture of improved sales, cost cutting and better exchange rates.
Sony was among those posting better financials for the fiscal third quarter (see story, p. 33), even though it is selling the Vaio PC unit and planning to spin-off its TV operations.
Panasonic reported higher sales and profits in the fiscal third quarter.
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.
SAN DIEGO – Industry reaction to the recently announced restructuring of Sony Electronics involving the sale of most of the Vaio PC business and the split-off of its TV operations into a wholly owned subsidiary was viewed with mixed reactions by analysts and retailers.
Most observers said the moves should help to keep Sony profitable while enabling the TV operations to narrow its focus on the woefully underserved high-end segment of the TV market, where profits can be made.
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. – LG Electronics cut the price yet again on its 55-inch curvedscreen FullHD OLED TV, as it seeks to secure a dominant position atop the new technology category.
LG said model 55EA9800, which launched last year at a $14,999 suggested retail, has been reduced to a $7,999 suggested retail.
The suggested retail had been reduced to $9,999 last September.
INDIANAPOLIS – Gregg Throgmartin is stepping down as executive VP and COO of hhgregg, effective March 31.
Separately the chain has named Kevin Lyons from VP to senior VP of e-commerce.
Throgmartin, son of the chain’s late chairman Jerry Throgmartin and scion of the founding Gregg and Throgmartin families, is leaving the company and his seat on the board to pursue outside interests and manage family businesses, the retailer said.
CYPRESS, CALIF. – Clarion launched three marine head units — the M704, CMS5 and CMS2 digital media receivers — and carried over four existing models to expand its selection to seven from five.
The three new models ship in the first quarter.
The $799-suggested CMS5 is a two-piece unit consisting of an outboard water-tight black box and on-dash dual-zone controller that features 4.3- inch optically bonded water-tight color LCD display.
NEW YORK — Aftermarket marine-audio sales are stable to growing, according to various car-audio suppliers, prompting multiple suppliers to expand their selections to stir up the waters.
JVC unveiled its first marine head unit in about seven years. Blaupunkt is re-entering the marine- audio aftermarket, and Clarion is expanding its head-unit selection to seven from five.
RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – As demonstrated at its recent International CES showcase, C&A Marketing continues to build on the success of its Polaroidbranded imaging products lines, using the famous moniker to put a new spin on the old thrill of instant photo printing.
Among the company’s highlights for 2014 is a square-shaped Polaroid-branded Socialmatic instant printing-and-posting camera, and a trio of Polaroidbranded action sports video cameras with take-anywhere attributes.
NEWARK, CALIF. — Logitech is no longer selling off its video-security division, a spokeswoman confirmed to TWICE.
Logitech said its financial results late last month, displaying some turnaround progress with a sales uptick of 2 percent for its fiscal third quarter.
According to Nancy Morrison, Logitech corporate communications VP, the company did not find the right buyer for the division and is no longer planning to sell it. Logitech will still maintain the service and offer cameras for sale, she said.
BENTON HARBOR, MICH. — Whirlpool’s strong fourth quarter and annual financial reports are a clear illustration why independent retailers are leaning more on major appliances to generate sales and profits.
More independent retailers are following at least part of a successful strategy of Conn’s by leaning on their white-goods expertise to replace lost sales volume and profitability from electronics in the past year or so.
NEW YORK – Retailers and vendors evaded a series of blocks and tackles last month to stir Super Bowl demand with discounted TVs.
Following a sluggish holiday season, the industry was eager to clear out any remaining inventory in advance of an early 2014 model year. But severe arctic weather across half the nation; a regional contest between two Western teams; spotty inventory; and a still-recovering economy presented challenges before the Big Game.