NATM Buying Corp.
Abt described speakers and other home theater-related audio as highly profitable and film cameras as stagnant enough that Abt dropped them in favor of an all-digital camera selection. Abt also said, excluding his own business, "the future looks grim for the local independent retailer in Chicago," in reference to Tweeter's recent acquisition of Douglas TV in the Chicago area.
"We're on a roll right now," said David Trahan, vice president of merchandising for Conn's, regarding the six stores Conn's has planned this year: three in Austin, Texas, two in San Antonio, Texas, and one in Baton Rogue, La. PTV is very profitable for Conn's, and the retailer will carry two plasma display SKUs this year. Trahan expects more than 50 percent of the PTVs Conn's sells in 2001 to be digital. Conn's also will focus on more 16:9 aspect ratio TVs, flat-screen direct-view TVs and the expansion of key digital categories such as progressive scan DVD, MP3 and digital camcorders.
RC Willey is building a new 120,000-sq.-ft. store in Las Vegas, Nev., to open in October. Vice President of Electronics Steve Child said the red-hot housing market in Las Vegas will be great for RC Willey, which does about 55 percent of its business in furniture and floor coverings. He also expects Sony PlayStation 2 and other gaming consoles to be significant for his stores this year.