By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Paul Rutenis, senior VP/chief merchandising officer, RadioShack: One of the things that we are looking at as an audio play is that 80 percent of America probably doesn’t know what Bluetooth is. Our kids that are 18 and under probably know more about Bluetooth than the 24- to 50-year-old individual.
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.
LAS VEGAS — Despite a soft holiday season and an icy start to the new year, the top merchants on TWICE’s annual Retail Executive Roundtable are bullish on 2014.
Why? Bluetooth for one. Wireless connectivity remains a new concept to most consumers, panelists said, and the sky’s the limit for A/V dealers that can creatively demo the technology and the plethora of compatible products.
TWICE: Starpower was at the forefront of Ultra HD TV as a regional launch pad. A year-and-a-half later, where do we stand with the category?
Dan Pidgeon, chairman, Starpower Home Entertainment Systems: When people walk in and see the 4K display – it is obviously presented at the very front of our stores – they gravitate right toward it and are just in awe.
TWICE: A year ago pundits had written off brick-and-mortar stores, with showrooming as their epitaph. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, it appears reports of retail’s death were greatly exaggerated.
David Workman, ProSource: You can over-generalize a trend, and showrooming was a nice label. If there was any benefit to the term, it made retailers look very hard in the mirror and find that they had some deficiencies in their own operation.
TWICE: We talked about the challenge of explaining and selling connectivity to consumers. How does Crutchfield convey complex concepts like this on the site and in the catalogs?
Rick Souder, Crutchfield: Nothing beats a demo in a store to get people excited, but we have a natural number of people who are interested in this area, and we are seeing them come to us from search that has been indexed to our content. And we do talk to a lot of people on the phone. Just a typical question:
Wave Debuts Two Websites
HOUSTON — Wave Electronics has launched mobile-friendly and dedicated security websites, so approved dealers can now view products and information in a way that caters to a mobile device. In lieu of simply “recanning” the current website into a mobile site or app, the team worked to create the site from the ground up, the distributor said.
NEW YORK – Walgreens, the No. 1 pharmacy chain, has expanded its test of Monster listening stations with the opening of a new “flagship” format store here last month.
The listening station, one of only a handful in the country, features Monster’s line of NCredible N-Tune headphones, developed with actor Nick Cannon.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. – Sears has launched a curbside pickup service that allows customers to retrieve online orders at their local Sears store in five minutes or less without leaving the car.
To use the service, online customers must select the “In-Vehicle Pickup” option at checkout, provide details of the vehicle they will arrive in, and activate Sears’ “Shop Your Way” mobile app.
NEW YORK – Haier’s Wi-Fi-connected Tianzun air conditioner has become the first major appliance to receive quality and compatibility certification from Apple.
The AC, which also operates as a room heater and air purifier, passed muster under Apple’s stringent MFi authorization program for third-party hardware. Usually reserved for CE accessories like connectors, docks and chargers, MFi sets rigorous performance standards for a product’s design, quality, compatibility and ease of set up.
SAN DIEGO – Following a soft first quarter and a slight dip in Q4, refrigerator print ad placements held steady across most of 2013, TWICE market research partner Gap Intelligence reports.
Based on a survey of eight leading majap chains across seven large and midsized markets, hhgregg was the top-ranking retailer for refrigerator ad volume in the fourth quarter, although its placements were down 12 percent from the prior quarter, and Best Buy and Conn’s showed the largest increases.