Sony, LG Join HES Distribution Program

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Las Vegas — Home Entertainment Source (HES), the A/V specialty wing of the Brand Source buying and marketing organization, has added Sony and LG to its Expert Warehouse fulfillment program.

HES general manager Jim Ristow broke the news to Brand Source members yesterday during the group’s National Convention and buy fair, running here this week at the Paris and Bally’s Hotels.

The national warehouse distribution program enables HES to take national account-size shipments directly from participating vendors, and to share the preferred pricing and allocations with authorized member dealers at favorable freight rates. The group has three distribution centers, operated by a third-party fulfillment house, in Atlanta; Reno, Nev.; and Hackensack, N.J.


Brand Source CEO Bob Lawrence, left, and HES general manager Jim Ristow announce the Sony accord at the groups’ National Convention in Las Vegas yesterday.

Ristow described the Sony program as providing “high-end goods for best-of-class dealers, fulfilled through Expert Warehouse.” He plans to provide details of the contractual agreement to HES’ rank-and-file next week at CEDIA Expo.

The LG arrangement is a global program that will allow HES members to order merchandise directly from the vendor or through Expert Warehouse. The first shipments are expected to arrive in mid-September, Ristow said.

Other additions to Expert Warehouse include protected lines from current suppliers Mitsubishi and Samsung. The former has added its Mitsubishi Diamond series to HES’ distribution program, which becomes the line’s only non-direct account, while Samsung will offer its limited-distribution 81 series LCD TVs, featuring LED backlighting and 100,000-to-1 contrast ratios.

The expansion of Expert Warehouse mirrors significant growth this year in Brand Source membership and volume. Membership ranks have topped 4,000 dealers with the addition of Brand Source Flooring Galleries, MEGA/Brand Source Canada and, more recently, the Maytag Store/Maytag Home Appliance Center franchise chain.

Volume-wise, Brand Source’s white-goods business has increased between 1 percent and 2 percent in revenue amid steep industry declines, while CE sales are up some 19 percent, the group said.

Driving that growth in part was a quadrupling of advertising on HGTV, while the group’s tabloid program has grown to more than 600 million tabs, Brand Source said.

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