Don’t fix what ain’t broken.
Broad Electronics America is entering the new year with few plans to change its mission, and for good reason. The Minnesota-based TV manufacturer went to CES 2018 last year with intentions of becoming a “go-to” TV vendor for retailers in North America, and, according to president Lee Schoenfeld, the course it set remains on the right track.
There is one commitment it does intend to renew this year, he noted to TWICE, and that’s becoming even more “retailer centric.”
“Both [CEO Johnson Zhao] and I are obsessed with having the flexibility necessary to help provide a successful outcome for our retailers,” he said, pointing to the company’s partnership with Nationwide Marketing Group as a recent example.
Nationwide introduced during its PrimeTime show in August a private-label line of promotionally priced TVs under the BEA badge, available exclusively to the buying group’s members. Three models make up the line, ranging from 32 to 65 inches and available in both HD and 4K Ultra HD.
The TVs are distributed by O’Rourke Sales Co., while Broad Electronics supplies upfront pricing and guarantees products with a one-year field scrap program intended to remove dealers from the return logistics process.
Watch: What You Missed At CES 2019
“Nationwide was looking for a different approach to the market,” said Schoenfeld. “We listened and, in collaboration with them, put together an exclusive partnership for our BEA brand, which has been an unqualified success.”
He added: “Our commitment is to partner with retailers to help navigate the “crazy” television business towards successful outcomes. Period.”
During CES 2019 earlier this month, Broad hosted meetings at the Hilton Grand Vacations Convention Center with its newest models on display. Among them were an “aggressively priced” 40-inch 4K TV under its Bolva brand, as well as a 65-inch 4K model and a 55-inch 4K curved model. All feature 3840 by 2180 resolution and four HDMI inputs, as well as component, composite, VGA and RF inputs and optical audio and headphone outputs.
We caught up with Schoenfeld last month to get his outlook on the year ahead.
What do you think will dominate the tech conversation in 2019?
In overall tech, it will be tariffs. Are they yes, no, maybe?
For TV technology, it will be the ascension of TCL and the reciprocal decline of Vizio
What do you think retailers would be surprised to learn when it comes to your company?
Our North American team — Al Levene, Stan Swinden, myself — have 135 combined years in the television business. (Retailers might guess it’s closer to 150 years based on appearance alone!)
They’d also be surprised to learn that we’re a prime manufacturer of television. We’re not a trading company simply slapping names on products from a variety of sources.
What do you think is the most important component in the retailer/manufacturer partnership?
For each side to understand what the goals of the other side are and work together to accomplish them.
How do you seek to achieve this?
By listening intensely to our retailers, by shopping and studying their stores, and by openly sharing our own strengths and challenges as a manufacturer.
We attempt to couple this with a flexibility to create “out of the box” successful outcomes. It helps that our team has an extensive retail background.