Black Friday 2016: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

If this year’s Black Friday doorbusters seem more than a little familiar come November, chances are they are.

According to Rebecca Lehmann, content marketing manager for comparison shopping site Brad’s Deals, the bulk of holiday promotions are actually recycled from Black Fridays past.

In fact, she argued, major retailers will even use the same print-ad layouts year after year, making only minor changes in product and even price.

Case in point: Target. The No. 2 discounter has been featuring the Razor scooter in its Black Friday inserts since 2008, when it debuted for $22, Lehmann noted. And for at least the past three years, it’s been occupying the same corner position on the page and nearly the same $18 or $19 doorbuster price.

Best Buy too is wont to repeat itself. Klipsch loudspeakers have been a mainstay of its Black Friday circulars for the past two years, in the same $125, $175 and $225 step. And in both years they were accompanied by a three-step offering of soundbars by Insignia, Vizio (2014) and Samsung that maintained the same $100 midtier price point but dropped the opening-and top-tier retails by ten bucks.

The Imaging Alliance Elects Four New Board Members

The Imaging Alliance announced four new board members last month, representing diverse aspects of the industry, the group said.

The new members are Cathi Nelson, president/founder of the Association of Professional Photo Organizers (APPO); Jirair Christianian, president of Mike’s Camera, based in Boulder, Colo.; Rick Voight, CEO, Vivid-Pix; and Hans Hartman, chair, Mobile Photo Connect.

With the new members, the number of board members now totals 18, including camera and accessory manufacturers, printers, software developers, research experts, retailers, publishers, consultants and consumer advocates.

“We’ve envisioned that The Imaging Alliance board should represent a much more diverse view of the imaging industry,” said Jerry Grossman, executive director, The Imaging Alliance. “Bringing the many facets of our industry together, from manufacturers and retailers to software developers and research experts, will allow us to expand the purview of The Imaging Alliance to all facets of visual innovation.”

Boingo’s David Hagan To Chair New CTA Exec. Board

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced the election of its 2017 Executive Board.

“Congratulations to these outstanding trailblazers and pioneers of our industry,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association. “We are humbled to have such a distinguished and visionary group of volunteers help lead our association and our industry as we continue to fight for and promote innovation that helps make our world a better place.”

David Hagan, chairman and CEO, Boingo Wireless, was named chairman of the board, succeeding Starpower chairman Daniel Pidgeon who remains a member of CTA’s Executive Board. Mike Fasulo, president and COO, Sony Electronics and Randy Fry, president, Fry’s Electronics are newly elected vice chairs. New Executive Board members include Dr. Jim Mault, VP and chief medical officer, Qualcomm Life; Mike Dunn, president, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Worldwide; Bridget Karlin, managing director, Intel; Laura Orvidas, vice president, consumer electronics, Amazon; Steve Tiffen, president and CEO, The Tiffen Company; and Fred Towns, president, New Age Electronics.

In addition to Pidgeon, previously elected members who will continue to serve on CTA’s Executive Board include David Inns, CEO, GreatCall, Eliott Peck, senior VP imaging technologies and communications group and chairman and CEO, Canon Information Technology, Canon USA, John Penney, chief strategy officer, Starz; and Pat Lavelle, president and CEO, Voxx International.

CTA’s Gary Shapiro also continues to serve on the association’s Executive Board along with Glenda MacMullin, COO and CFO, CTA, serving as treasurer; and Jacqueline Black, manager, office of the president, serving as newly elected secretary.

In addition, Tom Campbell, Video & Audio Center corporate director, has been elected to the 2017 Video Division Board. He represents the voice of independent retailers on the board. Campbell is the only new Video Division board member; others were re-elected. He also serves on the CTA Executive PAC Board and is an active member of the CTA 4K Ultra HD Working Group. Campbell was inducted into the CT Hall of Fame in 2015.

Under Armour’s Kevin Plank To Take CES Keynote Stage

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) revealed that Under Armour founder/CEO Kevin Plank will deliver a keynote at CES 2017 that will focus on how technology is shaping athletic performance and lifestyle now and in the years to come.

Plank has spent the last 20 years outfitting athletes in some of the world’s most innovative performance apparel, footwear and equipment, CTA said. What began as a startup in his grandmother’s basement is now a global company on track to reach nearly $5 billion in revenue by the end of 2016.

“Kevin Plank is a true innovator,” said Gary Shapiro, CTA president/CEO. “His story began as a college football player whose dislike of sweaty cotton T-shirts led to the founding of what is now one of the fastest-growing athletic performance companies in the world. He continues to innovate by putting technology front and center at Under Armour.

“The company’s participation in CES underscores the ever-expanding breadth of our show and the consumer tech industry overall,” Shapiro added. “We can’t wait to welcome Kevin to our keynote stage and hear what he has in store for a company that has already invested close to $1 billion in bolstering the digital health and fitness communities.”

Under Armour shared its vision for Connected Fitness at CES 2016 with the launch of UA HealthBox, a suite of products designed to help athletes gain insight into their health, reach their goals and perform better. The company plans to take that focus a step further this year based on the input of the 185 million-plus members of its digital health and fitness community — the largest of its kind in the world.

Plank’s keynote will take place on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.

Under Armour will exhibit in the Sports, Fitness and Health marketplaces at CES 2017 along with 95 other companies dedicated to athletic performance and health and fitness technology.

Plank joins Nvidia co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang as the first keynoters announced.


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