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LG Plans Major Role In Monitor, Storage Areas

After years of strictly being an OEM presence in the U.S. market, LG Electronics is making a bid to become a top-tier manufacturer of LCD monitors and optical storage devices in the U.S.

The company took its first, tentative step in retail with the introduction of two monitors, a 17-inch and 19-inch, in Best Buy during March and will expand into Office Depot by July, said Morris Lee, LG’s senior VP of Information System Products. The company’s optical storage plan has LG expanding from its initial foothold established recently in Wal-Mart into Fry’s Electronics in the near future with a line of DVD and CD burners.

Lee said LG would not attempt to gain share by coming into the market with the lowest price; instead it intends to offer each retail account models designed specifically to appeal to its customers. This strategy could change going forward, Lee said, if LG greatly improves its market share.

“We do not want to be an entry-level line, we want our pricing to be at a premium level. We are not in a hurry to add retailers, they must fit into our strategy,” he said, adding LG is primarily interested in partnering with what he described as strong retailers.

To build the LG brand and become a major player in the retail channel, the company has launched a major consumer advertising campaign. Lee did not reveal the size of the campaign’s budget.