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Distributors Focus On New World Solutions

Initiatives aimed at helping retailers leverage today’s realites

April 2013 By Nancy Klosek

Today’s consumers come to stores armed with mobile devices, price lists, product reviews, family/friend recommendations and a handful (or driveful) of other information that has effectively turned the concept of an ‘assisted sale’ on its head. But in recent years distributors have helped retailers increase their close rates and maintain the viability of an assisted sales floor.

Each year, distributors examine and re-tool service suites for their retail clients, cementing their positions as indispensable cogs in the workings of a consumer electronics transaction. Here’s how some leading distributors are tweaking their programs and increasing their importance as invisible assisted-sale associates on the showroom floor.

Dealerscope: The biggest challenge dealers face is profitability. Specifically, what is the single most important thing you’re doing this year to help your dealers make more money than they did last year?

Jeff Davis, D&H: The most important thing we’re doing to keep dealers profitable this year is to continue to deliver new, cutting-edge products. These would include 4K-resolution and Ultra HD TVs. To help dealers diversify, we’re branching into new categories such as sports and recreational goods, specialty housewares, and higher-end home automation products. Also, we offer products to retailers that adhere to UMAP policies, to preserve margins.

Gerald Satoren, DSI: The single biggest thing we are doing with our dealers is to make sure they are fully engaged in the large-panel, 60-inch-and-above TV business. DSI probably serves more brick-and-mortar independent retailers than anyone in the country. We stress to them that the purchase of this size TV is right in their sweet spot. It is typically the main TV in the home, an involved and carefully considered multi-person purchase decision, usually has to be delivered and installed due to the size, and is more likely to carry the profitable add-ons like sound and furniture. We focused here last year and our results clearly are a reflection of how our dealers embraced this opportunity. We want our dealers to continue down this path in 2013, with the additional benefits of the emergence of Ultra HD as well as OLED later this year.

Tom Bamrick, Ingram Micro CE: A major focus in 2013 for IMCE (Ingram Micro CE) is to provide our partners with value product adjacencies’ opportunities and high-margin accessories. IMCE has significantly increased its growing non-traditional consumer electronic product categories such as home appliances and outdoor recreational products, in an effort provide dealers with high-margin, mapped product adjacencies. Supplying the dealer with relevant accessories such as cases, cables and headphones should enable the dealer to increase overall order sizes as well as increase the margin potential of each order. Everyone should be thinking “attach.”



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