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HTSA Launches Web Site

Washington — Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA), the 55-member buying group for specialty A/V dealers, has launched its first-ever Web site at

The informational consumer site features home theater guides and product primers, a glossary of terms, a gallery of room vignettes taken from member showrooms, and a ZIP code-based dealer locator.

According to executive director Richard Glikes, the site also utilizes search engine optimization features to help place it on the first page of popular Internet search engines like Google and Yahoo! in response to key word queries like “plasma TV” or “home theater.”

The site, created with support from Sharp, is one element in a multi-pronged marketing effort embarked on by HTSA to help raise the profile, traffic and sales of its member dealers. To that end, the buying group has also produced two lighthearted TV spots — shot in high definition at the home of a Gramophone customer — that can be tailored to each dealer with customized voiceovers and shots of store exteriors.

In addition, HTSA will supplement its traditional newspaper inserts with an ambitious direct-mail program.

The multimedia marketing campaign was unveiled to dealers and vendors last weekend at the group’s annual fall meeting, held this year at The Westin Grand hotel in Washington. The event, titled “The Fructuous Fall Pump Up,” featured a profit planning and financial analysis session; a store design and merchandising seminar led by author and consultant Paco Underhill; a visit to Gramaphone’s Timonium, Md., showroom; a roundtable discussion on branding; a dinner cruise on the Potomac; and the election of new board members.

The $500 million group expects to add four new members by year’s end, Glikes said.