NEW YORK - Last January, merchants representing the major CE distribution channels hunkered down with TWICE during International CES to offer their take on what the new year would bring.
This month we virtually reconvened our retail panel to provide a midyear industry assessment and a look ahead to the holiday selling season.
The upshot? Retailers, distributors and buying group executives are reasonably optimistic that following a lackluster summer, pent-up demand and hot-button categories like smartphones, tablet PCs, advanced TVs and motion-sensor gaming systems will bring shoppers back into stores next season.
Still, closing the deal will remain a challenge as high unemployment and a still-suffering housing market will continue to tamp down consumer spending. To help loosen their purse strings, vendors and merchants will pull out the stops on promotional bundles, and will kick off the holiday season even sooner than last year.
But in order to stay in the game, dealers will have to keep their expenses low, their services high (including new categories like energy management and whole-home control), and their in-store demos enticing, especially for the nascent 3D TV business.
Please follow the links to read what our panel has to say: