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Vizio Extends Into Custom, Specialty Channels

IRVINE, CALIF. — After cracking the U.S. TV market through Costco, extending its reach with Walmart, and forging close ties with Best Buy, Vizio is now setting its sights on the specialty channel.

Armed with a new Ultra HD M series of full-array LED TVs, and a forthcoming 120-inch, HDR and 4K Reference-series model, the one-time little company that could believes specialty A/V dealers and custom integrators will look past its mass-merchant heritage and embrace the Vizio brand.

One of the first steps in that expansion strategy was announced: The placement of its M series with the PowerHouse Alliance, a 12-member, national consortium of regional distributors serving the specialty retail and CI channels.

“Vizio is ready to partner with the Powerhouse Alliance to offer our product line to a new specialized audience of home technology installers,” said Laynie Newsome, the company’s co-founder and chief sales officer.

The distributor group, which is holding its annual sales meeting this week, said training on the M series has already begun and that its member distributors will begin carrying the line immediately for customers across the CI channel.

“We are very eager and excited to help Vizio enhance its visibility across the marketplace, while creating greater availability and easier access to new CI-designed specialty products coming this fall,” PowerHouse executive director Dennis Holzer said.

He added that the brand provides “a very unique opportunity not only for our distributor members but for the CI channel as a whole.”

Indeed, Vizio is casting a wider net at a time when industry consolidation is leaving dealers and installers with fewer choices in video.

Newsome noted that the 14-year-old vendor has a current install base of 62 million consumers, and has been one of the fastest-growing brands in the premium A/V category.