Elite TVs Among BrandSource News, Notes

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BrandSource and its Home Entertainment Source (HES) division provided updates on supplier deals and its merger with the PRO Group to create ProSource, among other stories. Here are some highlights:

• Tom Evans, associate VP for the Elite brand of Sharp, and Russ Johnston, executive VP of Pioneer’s home electronics, announced that HES will carry the new line of Elite LCD TVs from Sharp. Evans said that Sharp is targeting a summer launch for the Elite TVs. Johnston reminded that Sharp is a major shareholder in Pioneer -- 14 percent -- and since it dropped Elite TVs two years ago, “we wanted to have a formal relationship” on a product introduction and with Sharp and that Elite TVs is “a great way to return.”

• Connected Source just announced at the Summit is a turnkey concept for all HES and PRO members to demonstrate and display connected systems and at stores and locations “at little cost for members,” said Jim Ristow, executive VP of HES. “Customers will learn about new upgrades for the home, will help dealers create demos, provide planograms and beta tests that will be … a hands-on shopping experience.”

• HES is also adding Bedrock Learning (an online training site), TechCraft furniture, TEAC, Salamander Design and Smith & Wesson, a turnkey home security system.

• Ristow said that HES and PRO, now united under ProSource as of January’s International CES, speaks “with one voice, one common goal.” ProSource consists of 950 storefronts and $3.6 billion in specialty CE and custom retail sales. PRO Group has 16 dealers and 176 storefronts while HES has 550 dealers and 770 storefronts.

• Expert Warehouse will be adding the following lines: Klipsch and Marantz in April and Denon in June. Paradigm and Anthem will be added in May and June, and Monster’s Dr. Dre headphones and the rest of its accessories will be added in June.


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