Hisense will step up its U.S. brand presence next year with expanded roles at America’s two largest chains for CE and appliances.
The manufacturer, which had long provided large-screen TVs for Best Buy’s private- label Insignia line, will begin touting its own badge with a dedicated in-store TV section in 2017, Hisense executive VP Dr. Lan Lin told TWICE.
At Lowe’s, Hisense is building off a portable A/C partnership to add wine coolers and full-size and compact refrigerators to the retailer’s white-goods assortment, Lin said last month at a press gathering at Hisense headquarters in Qingdao, China.
The expansions follow the placement of major TV programs with the NATM buying group – including ABC Warehouse, Electronic Express, Nebraska Furniture Mart, P.C. Richard & Son and BrandsMart USA – and other specialty dealers including online powerhouse B&H Photo.
The company also provides compact refrigerators to Walmart and freestanding freezers to Costco.
Hisense, which is first and second, respectively, in TV and refrigerator share in China, will fill the U.S. pipeline from its massive TV factory in Rosarito, Mexico. The plant was acquired last year from Sharp in a deal that was linked to a five-year brand licensing agreement, and Hisense has significantly increased the facility’s production capacity and efficiencies since then, Lin said.
At the same time, Hisense marketing department deputy director Rolland Zhang and a growing U.S.-based team will work to raise the company’s initial positioning there as a value brand, buoyed by its ULED (Ultra LED) line of 4K UHD TVs; a forthcoming quantum-dot QLED platform to be shown at CES 2017 and launched later that year; and a 120-inch, short-throw laser projector set to hit the specialty market this spring with a suggested $13,000 retail.
The initiatives have been fueled in part by Hisense’s high-margin B-to-B divisions, which include advanced surgical imaging displays and traffic-control systems, Lin noted.