Changing the Definition
It’s happened to many an independent retailer who’s just dropped a couple grand updating the show floor to display the latest 1080p flatpanels: the LCDs are on the wall, HDMI cables are plugged in, and the sets are all set to illicit customer goosebumps with whatever high-definition content the local cable company is offering. Only one problem: the cable programming happens to include paid advertisements from a big box competitor, not exactly the inspirational content storeowners were looking to show off.
In a year when high definition content offerings haven’t quite caught up with manufacturers’ exuburance to push microdisplays, independent retailers, especially those doing business in small towns across America, are facing some brand new challenges right along with the brand new opportunities to make unprecedented profits on television sales. Confronting those challenges was an emerging theme at the semi-annual Nationwide Buying Group meeting, “PrimeTime!,” held in August at The Venetian Casion/Resort in Las Vegas.
Nationwide’s leaders, who in the last couple of years have organized a distribution system called “Warehouse Direct,” which is able to deliver a steady stream of flat panel sets to all of its members, offered attendees one possible solution to the showfloor content problem: a specialized new Internet feed of tailor-made high definition programs and advertisements called “Membernet TV.”