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Elite TVs Among BrandSource News, Notes


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.