Retailing Briefs

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Amazon Enters Home Automation
SEATTLE – Amazon.com has quietly opened a dedicated department for home automation. The virtual storefront culls the e-tailer’s selection of programmable products and assorts them into four main categories: entertainment systems, home monitoring and safety, energy management, and kits and controllers. Items include Sonos streaming audio components, Yamaha network A/V receivers, Belkin WeMo plug-in Wi-Fi control switches, and Leviton whole-home control systems, while user guides and how-to videos address everything from door locks and thermostats to gateways and communication protocols.

Volutone Opens New Calif. Location
SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. – Volutone Distributing, a member of the PowerHouse Alliance, has opened its seventh location, a self-shop facility in Irvine, Calif. The distributor said it is rapidly expanding throughout Southern California and has seen steady growth in the custom integration channel, with additional growth from their expanded category offerings, including intrusion, surveillance, networking and commercial A/V technology.

OfficeMax Expands PC, Tablet Support
NAPERVILLE, ILL. – OfficeMax is expanding its technology security, support, Cloud storage and data-recovery services and products to business and consumer customers for laptops, tablets and PCs. The chain said the move makes Office- Max the only national retailer to offer fast in-store data recovery from internal hard drives from PCs, Apple devices and USB drives.

Capitol To Carry Sennheiser’s Pro Line
EAGAN, MINN. – Capitol, the CE distributor for residential systems specialists, retailers, integrated systems contractors and premium incentive resellers, is now offering the Sennheiser line of professional microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems for its customers serving the commercial installation market. Capitol noted that Sennheiser continually sets new standards for headphones, headsets, microphones and wireless systems.

Conn’s Adds 2 Stores
THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS — Multiregional majap, furniture and CE chain Conn’s raised its store count to 74 locations with last month’s opening of two new stores in Houston and Tempe, Ariz. Both employ the retailer’s updated HomePlus format, which allocates greater floor space to its high-growth furniture and mattress categories.

Microsoft Honors Ingram
SANTA ANA, CALIF. – Global IT distributor Ingram Micro has received an Operational Excellence Award from Microsoft. The accolade recognizes Ingram Micro’s U.S. Microsoft business unit for meeting or exceeding specific requirements for the number of valid agreements in several categories, and for the number of on-time and valid order submissions and revenue reconciliations, the companies said.

Wynit, GlobalTrac Ink
NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Wynit Distribution signed an exclusive supplier relationship with GlobaTrac, the designer and manufacturer of Trakdot, a positioning solution that provides worldwide location reporting for luggage. The device complies with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations by automatically entering “airplane mode” when its accelerometer senses sustained acceleration.

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