Retailing Briefs

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HES Visits Korean Vendors

Seoul, South Korea — Executives from Home Entertainment Source (HES), the $1.8 billion A/V specialty division of the Brand Source buying group, returned last month from meetings in Korea with senior management of LG and Samsung. A chief goal of the trip was to present overviews of HES's structure and of its successful Expert Warehouse distribution program, which helps position the group as an independent alternative to big-box customers. "The continued success of our group members requires that they have access to step-up products," said Jim Ristow, HES's executive VP. "Equally important is a distribution and sales strategy that makes sense for our members. Last [month's] meetings allowed us to show each manufacturer a clear channel strategy for their premium goods." The 500-member group generates more than $1.8 billion in annual sales.

Best Buy To Reduce Its U.S. Carbon Emissions

Minneapolis — Best Buy will work toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its stores, distribution centers, trucks and headquarters by 8 percent over the next four years. It plans to reach that goal by adding skylights to all stores, upgrading its high-efficiency lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, implementing a nationwide no-idling policy for its fleet, upgrading and networking the company's centralized energy management system to better track energy spikes across stores and operations, and by testing renewable energy sources including solar panels on select stores, the company said.

Airport Wireless Signs Warrantech

Bedford, Texas — Airport Wireless has signed a two-year contract with Warrantech Consumer Product Services, here, which began providing extended-service coverage on the chain's cellular telephone and mobile electronic products beginning last month. Coverage includes Warrantech's exchange program and ADH program, which covers products that fail due to accidental damage or handling caused by the consumer. "We are always looking for ways to give our customers the best products and service," said Michael Goldschmidt, executive VP of Airport Wireless/Techshowcase. Airport Wireless, a unit of APW Holding was launched in Terminal B of the Philadelphia International Airport in 1997. Its latest venture, Techshowcase, features interactive displays of technology products for travelers in major airports throughout the country. Marks 10 Millionth Customer

City of Industry, Calif. —, the 7-year-old CE and IT e-commerce site, registered its 10 millionth customer last month. The e-tailer, which carries nearly 40,000 hardware, software and CE products along with detailed descriptions and more than 1 million user reviews, describes itself as the second largest online-only retailer in the United States, after "We are pleased that our footprint is one of steady and consistent growth," said merchandising VP Bernard Luthi, who attributed the milestone to a wide assortment, competitive pricing, fast shipping and outstanding customer service.


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