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New Age's Towns on Tablets, Showrooming and Best Buy

August 14, 2012 By Stephen Silver
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New Age Electronics president Fred Towns sat for an exclusive interview with Dealerscope during the distributor's Dealer Summit in Chicago on August 9. This is part two of the interview; see part one here.

Q: So far this year, which specific categories are selling well?

A: I think the "stepped-up PC" product is selling well. The unfortunate thing about the web and shopping engines is that it takes the product down to a price point. When the consumer understands where the technology is going, and people are buying for the intended future, and where that product will evolve for 3-5 years down the road.

People are looking for PCs [that are] thin or light, solid state drives, faster boot-up times and either always-on or instant-on.

Q: In terms of tablets, I remember last year tablets were everything. Are tablets selling, which of them are the hottest sellers, and are any of them competing against the iPad.

A: Actually, many of them are competing against the iPad. At the end of the day, Apple's got an incredible formula that's worked for them, along with their content story. And I think as certain technologies are evolving- the new tablets with the Google capability are very hot for us right now. The Nexus product has been screaming hot, which is a change. The world is about how you're using these products and what you're using them for, and receiving content.

Tablets are also evolving with different shapes and sizes. The female customers have been very excited about some of the smaller-sized tablets that enable them to drop them into a purse easily.

Q: On the subject of showrooming, what do you think dealers can do to combat that problem?

A: I think it's about experience today. Number one, you have to have a complete solution, because convenience and time are so critical. And if you've been able to woo a customer to come into your store than the experience should be really good in that store about shouldn't be just about making a sale, but walking out with a solution to what they were trying to accomplish when they walked into that store.

So more and more you'll see hands-on experience in the store, and how to use that product. I think the role of retailer will be how to guide that consumer in, and see how they're going to use that [product,] from a usability standpoint.
 

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