Huppin's/OneCall, the pioneering click-and-mortar CE dealer, will join the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group) on Oct. 1.
The addition of Huppin's will raise the $2.3 billion specialty A/V buying group's member roster to 18 dealers.
Huppin's, which was founded in 1907 as a dry goods store, came to national prominence in the late 1990s with the launch of one of the CE industry's first fully authorized e-tail sites, www.onecall.com. The family-run business, which is one of the highest ranked CE sites in customer satisfaction metrics according to BizRate.com, still maintains a storefront in downtown Spokane, Wash.
“Huppin's is innovative,” said Roger Heuberger, PRO Group's executive director. “Their business model strongly encourages customers to call, and not just 'click,' which allows them to inject many more specialty services than clicking alone offers. They have also created synergies between their retail storefront and the Web that I have not seen elsewhere in the CE channel.”
Heuberger added that “Embracing someone who has proven to be a leader in online marketing makes sense,” as PRO dealers are increasingly integrating their in-store and online customer service, marketing and merchandising platforms.
Murray Huppin, president of Huppin's/OneCall, noted that “Our video product mix is highly consistent with other PRO Group members, which will help in vendor negotiations.” Indeed, 75 percent of PRO Group business is conducted in brands that are also carried by the Huppin's store and Web site, the buying group said.
“From a personal fit,” Huppin continued, “we think it will be very comfortable, as I have been longstanding friends with many PRO members for years.”
Other PRO Group dealers which have developed a considerable e-commerce presence include Abt Electronics and Crutchfield Corp.