Rick Wigen, distributor Almo’s vice president of product management, talks 2015 strategy and products with Dealerscope’s Nancy Klosek
Dealerscope: Almo has added some new vendors over the last few months. Would you tell our readers how they serve to answer dealer requests for categories that you had not offered before, or how they fill previously unfilled niches in your product portfolio?
Rick Wigen: On the television side, we brought in Polaroid and Haier in 2014, for somewhat similar reasons, but there’s also some clear differentiation between them as well. At a high level, we were looking to fill in for the missing revenue when Panasonic went away. They were an important vendor of ours, and that put a bit of a hole in our business model, and we were looking to fill in that gap in adding these two. Polaroid plays a different role in our organization in that one of the places where we’ve had some good success with it is on the ecommerce fulfillment side of our business in general, and in the shopping channels – QVC, HSN, ShopHQ – in particular. At the other end of the spectrum, we see Haier TV as more of a strategic play alongside Haier appliances within the dealer organization. This is an overarching play, developing the Haier brand in the dealer channel in the U.S. In that regard, it’s different from the Polaroid play.
DS: What are some of the more interesting strategies you’ve employed in 2014?