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Sony, LG Join HES Distribution Program

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 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 distributor BDI-Laguna, in Atlanta, Reno, Nev., and Hackensack, N.J.

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 this week at CEDIA Expo in Denver.

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.

Elsewhere, HES also announced reduced freight costs on orders less than $5,000. Going forward, orders between $3,500 and $4,999 will carry a $20 freight surcharge while orders between $2,500 and $3,499 will carry a $50 surcharge, with no up-charge for product. Freight will continue to be prepaid for orders of $5,000 and higher.

“We feel that’s the best freight rate in the industry,” Ristow said. “We’re offering a best-in-class freight solution while still maintaining the best net acquisition cost.”