Roundtable:: More Than Distribution
With much of the Middle East in political upheaval, the price of commodities on the rise and the U.S. economy on a slow mend, it's difficult to predict how this year's CE market will fare. Maybe it's best at this point to turn to distributors—the go-betweens for suppliers and retailers—for their projections on how the year will play out.
Dealerscope: What category this year will drive the most profits for your retail customers? How has that changed from last year?
Warren Chaiken, President and COO, Almo: Smart electronics and appliances will be a driving force in higher margin sales the next 24 months. We've heard about connected-living products for years, and the technology has finally evolved to the point where it provides value to the consumer. From smart TVs with Internet access and Skype capabilities to Internet-enabled appliances that can be managed from a smartphone, connected living is finally taking shape by offering smart-grid energy savings and connected information throughout the home.