Arlington, Va. - Nebraska Furniture Mart's Jay Buchanan and Sam's Club's Joe Hartsig were appointed inaugural chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA's) new Retailer Council.
The Council, approved last week by the CEA's executive board, will serve as a macro forum for retail members that addresses the needs of CE dealers across all distribution channels and merchandise classes.
It will formally debut at CES 2011, where a membership table will be situated at the annual CEA member cocktail party.
The Retailer Council was the brainchild of the trade association's retail working group, which was formed last year to explore ways of better engaging CEA's 500 retail members. Retailers now comprise 26 percent of CEA membership, up from 22 percent at the beginning of November alone, said Kerry Moyer, the association's senior director of strategic relationships, and represent specialty and general merchandise dealers ranging from single-store operations to national chains, as well as e-tail and catalog businesses.
The Council will provide a platform for retailers to share best practices, identify and address common issues like channel conflict and product returns, create lines of dialogue with vendors and other dealers, and help members navigate inside CEA to fully leverage association benefits, Buchanan told TWICE.
The Council will act as a collaborative body, with input from CEA's various product-centric retail divisions such as wireless, video, and TechHome, he said. Plans for 2011 include webinars, monthly teleconferences and Council member meetings to be held during larger CEA events such as the Industry Forum.
The model for the Retailer Council was based on CEA's Small Business Council, which similarly represents a diversity of members.
The retail working group was led by Robert Fields, sales and marketing VP at Aridian Technolog, and Buchanan, electronics division director of Nebraska Furniture Mart, who continues as chair of the new retail group. Vice chair Hartsig is CE VP at Sam's Club.
For more information, email Moyer at