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Dealers Encouraged By Connectivity, 4K

LAS VEGAS — Despite a soft holiday season and an icy start to the new year, the top merchants on TWICE’s annual Retail Executive Roundtable are bullish on 2014.

Why? Bluetooth for one. Wireless connectivity remains a new concept to most consumers, panelists said, and the sky’s the limit for A/V dealers that can creatively demo the technology and the plethora of compatible products.

Retailers also have high hopes for Ultra HD TV this year as lower prices and more native content are expected to spur demand. But dealers are conversely concerned that success in 4K could disrupt the premium 2K segment, while OLED remains a stunning but cost-prohibitive option.

Meanwhile, brick-andmortar is making a comeback as retailers embrace online pricing parity and innovative display concepts, and e-tailers open storefronts of their own.

The following is an edited transcript of the provocative panel discussion, held here on the opening day of International CES.