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Display’s The Thing For Philips, Nationwide

In an effort to bring independent dealers back into video, Philips Consumer Electronics introduced a beefed up modular gondola display system at the Nationwide buying group’s PrimeTime convention here last week.

The unit, which serves as an in-store shop for Philips’ line of flat-panel TVs, DVD players and HTiB, is a “much more elaborate” version of an earlier prototype, said Mike Leese, the vendor’s general manager/buying groups.

Despite the refinements, the purpose remains the same: To provide a tidy, turnkey way for independents to re-enter the TV business. “There’s a large audience of dealers that are appliances only,” Leese observed. “They dropped television and consumer electronics several years back when they couldn’t be competitive. But what goes around comes around, and there’s a lot of money to be made now in CE.”

To participate, the company is asking dealers to invest in a 15-piece program with back up in return for $50,000 in support. The buy-in includes LCDs, 16×9 glass, 16×9 projection, Philips’ Real Flat direct views, DVD recorders and progressive scan players, and HTiB.