A New Wave of Opportunities for HES Dealers

Jim Ristow of HES
Hot trends include wireless, new audio, home control, large-panel TVs, networking

Whether you’re a specialty consumer electronics dealer or a custom integrator, you must embrace both higher-end and lower-end solutions to capture a new wave of sales opportunities that is set to flood the channel.

“We have to do it all,” said Jim Ristow, executive vice president of Home Entertainment Source during the general session of the HES Summit, held this week in Orlando, Fla., as part of the BrandSource Summit.

Ristow explained that HES dealer members typically benchmark 80 percent of their business at a certain price point, whether it’s at the higher-end or more in the middle of the market, depending on a dealer’s business model. But a new wave of products – as well as the fact that a dealer’s core competencies, no matter what segment they sell into, can often handle the sale and installation of a wide range of solutions – is opening up a broader range of markets and opportunities for a variety of dealers to capture.

For example, dealers selling into the mid-markets should consider step-up solutions such as enterprise-grade networking; shades and lighting; higher-end audio solutions like premium Bluetooth speakers, sound systems and digital music conversion systems; and commercial solutions. At the same time, high-end custom installers should be showing their customers music streaming systems (such as those from Sonos and a new round of similar systems expected to launch this fall by a handful of competing audio manufacturers), premium headphones, computer speakers, soundbars, and high-priced computer speakers.

In other words, dealers of all stripes should leverage customer relationships built around their heritage legacies to capture whatever new revenue/profit streams and market segments that make sense, Ristow said.

“There’s a huge opportunity coming … but we have to think a little differently than we did in the past,” he told the HES crowd, which included members from the newly formed ProSource, a combination of HES and PRO Group dealers.

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