Retailing Briefs

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Distributor Update: What's Hot At Wholesale

Harrisburg, Pa.— As the summer season approaches, HD-ready TVs, plasma screens, DVD/VCR combo units and, surprisingly, home audio components are among the top retail draws, reports D&H Distributing. The $700 million distributor says manufacturers are beginning to reduce their big screen analog offerings as demand for 16x9 sets grows, and that its own ratio of HD-ready to analog sales stands at 70-30. Meanwhile, businesses are snapping up plasma screens for boardroom use and security applications, and DVD/VCR units are "selling like hotcakes" despite their bigger footprint. D&H has also seen "rapid growth in the home audio separates category," including A/V receivers, although HtiB continues to expand.

eBay's Charity Auction

New York— eBay held an online electronics auction during last week's Home Entertainment 2002 Show (HE 2002) here that benefited The Elf Foundation, a CE industry-sponsored charity. Exhibitors, including Audio Association Corp., InFocus, Kenwood, Terk Technologies and Yamaha, donated various products to the event, including home theater receivers, rooftop HD antennas, projectors, wireless microphone systems and DVD players. "A home entertainment product sells on eBay every 15 seconds," said eBay senior category manager Gary Calega, "so we're in a great position to help raise funds." Elf, comprised of dealers, manufacturers, reps and industry groups, designs and installs entertainment and Internet-based educational systems in children's hospitals. The auction began May 30 and ends today.

Southern Reps Merge

Montgomery, Ala.— One less rep group will be calling on Southern CE dealers following the forthcoming merger of Southeastern Sales Associates and Anderson Marketing. The new entity, which will retain Southeastern's name and headquarters, here, will continue to bring such mobile A/V and custom home lines as Audiobahn, Blaupunkt, Cobra, Infinity, Matrix Audio Designs, Synthesis and Tannoy to retailers throughout Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and the Carolinas. According to principal Keith Parke, the merger is intended to "help us provide better service to our customer base and our vendors."

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