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A ‘Powerhouse’ Deal, And Powerhouse Trend

In a month that began with International CES and the introductions of 3D TV, mobile TV, e-Readers among others, saw keynotes by top execs from Hisense, Qualcomm, Ford, Nokia, Microsoft and Intel, and ended with all the hype of Apple’s newest creation – iPad – how these wonderful products actually get sold to consumers can get lost in the shuffle.

In the middle of all the technology hoopla a new national network of leading consumer electronics wholesalers was born – the Powerhouse Alliance Group.

The group, which we reported on here at in December, consists of 10 regional and national CE and appliance distributors who have banded together to increase efficiencies and centralize resources which will benefit their companies, but more importantly the retailers and manufacturers they serve.

Members consist of an all-star group of distributors, which will remain standalone businesses, according to executive director Dennis Holzer. He added that Powerhouse Alliance’s members control $500 million in annual sales volume.

As anyone in this industry knows, distributors have become vital conduits in this business, making timely deliveries, cutting costs for both retailers and manufacturers so all sides can at least attempt to make margins on CE and major appliances.

In my last blog I took a trip down memory lane, discussing the 1990 Summer CES, the first time I edited a daily paper for the show. In that era “distributor” was a dirty word for many, with suppliers opting to go direct to just about everyone.

That business model, like selling VCRs and tube TVs, is no longer an option. As senior editor Alan Wolf put it in his story on Powerhouse Alliance Group, its model is similar in approach to others that serve segments of the CE and major appliance industries.

This is just a reminder that while there is magic in the technology the retailers and manufacturers in this industry sells, there is plenty of backstage magic in getting the products to retail on a timely, and sometimes even a profitable basis.

For anyone interested in finding out more about the Powerhouse Alliance Group, visit, or contact Dennis Holzer directly at [email protected] or call him at (412) 973-7974.