HES/Brandsource: It’s About Solutions, Not Products
Buying group updates Connected SOURCE programMarch 1, 2012 By Jeff O'Heir
One message rang clear at the recent HES/Brandsource Summit: The future of CE retail is all about the sale of full solutions, not one-off products.
Jim Ristow, executive vice president of HES, hammered the point home with an update of HES/Brandsource's Connected SOURCE program, which focuses on the sale of full, turnkey based connected solutions.
The group introduced the Connected SOURCE concept two years ago and at last year's Summit signed up more than 80 dealers who were interested in implementing it in their stores. This week he announced that the first two pilot stores - Talk of the Town, Hackensack, N.J., and Five Smooth Stones Audio Video, Jacksonville, Fla., - completed Connected SOURCE installations. Connected SOURCE will now followed a control roll-out in other retailers, with about 50 expected to implement the concept by the end of the year, said Jim Ristow, HES executive vice president.
Connected SOURCE is all about selling full solutions, as opposed to single products. Just about any CE retailer looking for a new way to merchandise solutions can follow the model. Separate of HES, Electronics Expo, with a chain of stores in New Jersey, implemented a similar concept late last year with its Connectivity Centers, while Vann's incorporates a connected solutions sales approach in The ON Store in Missoula, Mont. Here's how Connected SOURCE works:
An HES/Brandsource AV specialist is expected to turn one of their rooms (most likely a sound room; minimum 300 square feet) into a Connected SOURCE center. After customers are given an introduction, they can browse through five zones and experience the demos. The zones include:
1. 3D: Includes home control, Internet connectivity and audio. Products include a 60- or 70-inch TV, ultra-thin on-wall speakers, in-ceiling speakers, a receiver with AirPlay, a wireless audio player, a control unit, AppleTV, and an Xbox 360 with Kinect.
2. Headphone: Includes high-quality headphones that a customer can listen to through their portable player or through a DAC unit with an iPod dock provided by the retailer.
3. Multi-room Audio: Solutions range to fit a variety of budgets. Products include a wireless all-in-one unit, all-in-one speaker with airplay, and a higher-end iPod solution.
4. Home Office Setting: Products include an all-in-one computer, DAC desktop audio system, faux window with blind/shade control, and HVAC and lighting control.
5. TV demonstration to show how the unit can interact with the entire home. Products include a 55-inch plasma TV, a soundbar and a Skype camera.