New Routes to Revenue (Top 50 Retailers)
In the United States, some regional powerhouses seem to be not so much expanding into certain areas as assaulting them. Atlanta is one such hot spot: H.H. Gregg is planning an 11-store launch in that city for April. (BrandsMart also hopes to open one new store in that city in 2003.) Ultimate Electronics, meanwhile, opened 10 stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth market between August and October. It also upped its number of stores in the St. Louis area by two.
This was a year for dumping unprofitable operations. Circuit City spun off its CarMax arm, and Home Shopping Network closed its Italian business. Electronics Boutique sold its BC Sports Collectibles stores, and closed or renovated its EB Kids operations into Electronics Boutique venues.
Other chains updated product mixes. Target, which refuses to communicate with the trade press, seems to see CE as an under-penetrated category. It is reportedly revamping its product mix and displays to better reach core customers. ShopKo, meanwhile, is conducting a CE experiment in its Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin store. The CE department there is self-contained, and runs about 5,000 square feet (compared to about 3,000 square feet in the typical ShopKo outlet). It offers an increased selection of video products, interactive games, pre-recorded music, large-screen TVs, handhelds, DVD systems and other products. CompUSA is seeking to increase its sales of higher-margin gaming offerings, so it has increased the product mix, and initiated a new Web site, www.gamefixx.com.