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ACs Heat Up NECO’s Sales

Ledyard, Conn. — The oppressive heat and humidity that lingered in the Northeast throughout most of the summer paid big dividends in room air conditioner sales for many of the NECO Alliance’s independent TV/appliance dealers, who attended the group’s recent Ninth Expo, was held at Foxwoods Casino, here.

“The heat was constant, and that helped our air conditioner sales this year,” said Mel Hunger, NECO’s executive director. “We also helped by offering special incentives with EnergyStar, exclusive NECO five-year warranties and consumer financing options. We made it as easy as possible for people to buy., and that really helped out.”

Adam Thomas, marketing VP at Nationwide Marketing Group, which works in Internet and in cellphones,” he said. Earlier this month Sprint began offering 20 Sirius channels to the users of its PCS Vision service.

Another new area of focus for Sirius is rear-seat video. Karmazin previous mentioned that DaimlerChrysler will offer a Sirius’ video service for the car in 2007. The service is expected to debut mid-2006 for the car stereo aftermarket.

And Karmazin claimed Sirius is gaining in retail market share against competitor XM Satellite Radio based on a report by The NPD Group for the month of August, which placed Sirius at 45 percent of the market, he claimed.

A week earlier, at the Merrill Lynch Media and Entertainment Conference in Pasadena, Calif., Karmazin claimed Sirius’ plug-and-play receivers won the first and second slots in market share at retail during the second quarter, according to NPD, which confirmed the findings.

NPD placed the Sirius STARMATE and Sportster, both supplied by Directed Electronics, as the No. 1- and 2-ranked receivers in unit share, followed by the XM MyFi and the XM Roady2 receiver.

XM’s product marketing and distribution senior VP Dan Murphy disputed the findings. He told TWICE that XM had over 64 percent market share in the second quarter and a 56 percent market share at retail, or 71,000 more subscribers from retail sales, according to published figures by both companies. He noted that NPD data does not capture the entire retail market, excluding Wal-Mart, among other retailers. “Wal-Mart for us is a top five retailer,” said Murphy. He further claimed that NPD numbers did not capture XM’s two-for-one promotion on the Roady. “Our two-for-one promotion was so successful … that any statement other than that the Roady was the No. 1-selling satellite radio model in the second quarter would be incorrect.”