Carson, Calif. - New Age Electronics is launch an extensive Windows 8 retail training and merchandising program beginning next month and continuing through the holiday season when the new operating system is expected to be introduced.
Fred Towns, president of New Age Electronics and video game distributor Jack of All Games, which are both part of parent company Synnex, told TWICE the effort's goal is to "educate retailers about Windows 8 so they can handle consumers' questions and get them excited about the operating system."
The effort, which is being coordinated by VP Bob Culliton, who joined New Age last fall and is a 20-year veteran of Microsoft, will "get the message out to dealers how the platform is different and how it will be supported by a complete ecosystem of [hardware] products" from PCs to accessories, Towns said.
The program will begin with discussions with retailers in late May and early June with more info as it becomes available from Microsoft -- which Towns described as a "deeply integrated partner -- from late June through mid-August.
In August the distributor will host its New Age Electronics Dealers Summit in Chicago from Aug. 8-10 in which Windows 8 will have a major role.
After August, logistics will take over -- there will be a ton of products supporting the new operating system and New Age will let its dealers know what products will be available and when. Windows 8 is expected to be introduced by "late fall or in the early holiday season" timeframe, the distributor said.
A main goal of New Age's program is to take a "proactive approach" on communication and educating of retailers on "key messaging points, how to display and merchandise products," the distributor said so its retailers will be experts on Windows 8 and be able to answer consumer questions.
As part of the effort a Windows 8 microsite will be launched on the Synnex and New Age websites on June 2 that will include third-party analysis, product features, key products coming to market (PCs, accessories and other devices) as well as product guides and overviews on every product for retail sales associates, or, as Towns put it: "How to bring all the [Windows 8] products to life in their stores."
Windows 8 will initially be a PC initiative, but Towns said part of the retailer training will be "how you can merchandise complimentary products with the [Windows 8] PCs ... and tell the story."
He noted that while Windows 8 will begin in PCs, it will move to tablets and, next year, to Windows 8 smartphones, which will give consumers "a Windows 8 environment" from device to device that will provide "a comfort zone" for consumers on how these devices work together.