Hitachi Home Electronics has consolidated its distribution network nationwide, going from 20 to four, effective in May.
Rick Stans, senior VP of sales, and Neal Sax, sales VP, said at the NATM Buying Corporation annual meeting, here, that distribution will now be handled by Electrograph in the East, J.H. Fagan in the northern Midwest, Autco in the southern Midwest and Cinelight in the West.
"For the four distributors who will handle Hitachi now, our line is their No. 1 line," Sax said. He added that the new setup will increase efficiencies.
Both executives reported that sales for HDTV displays have been "steady" during the first quarter. They said the main question retailers at the NATM meeting, and other buying group meetings in the past month or so, has been: "Will we have enough inventory for the second half?"
Retailers and manufacturers are expecting strong demand for LCD, plasma, DLP, rear projection and other HDTV formats during the second half. The main concern continues to be pricing if new Far East players enter the market with an eye for quick market share through dramatically low prices.