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Buchanan, Hartsig Head CEA Retail Council

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

[email protected]