Surviving the Perfect Storm
But last September, Paulson’s hired a person who specialized in convergence of the computer and electronics world and launched a new support division, Digital Life Solutions, that offers customers media center services, PC repair and maintenance, wired and wireless networking, and home automation solutions, such as Exceptional Innovation’s Windows-based Life|Ware system.
He said Paulson’s consciously chose this Media Center focus to appeal to a broader set of customers, as opposed to the wealthier clientele targeted by high-end control manufacturers such as Crestron or AMX. “We’ve taken a different approach,” he said. Retailers are also taking other approaches to maximize sale and profit. Nationwide members, for example, are “redoing their displays and showing the latest and greatest technology,” Decker said.
On the product side of this redesign, retailers are making sure to highlight high-definition DVRs, Bluetooth technology, Toshiba’s HD DVD players and LG Dual Blu-ray/HD DVD player as potential draws, Decker said. “The consumer is demanding all the new changes, especially the early adopters,” he said. “It’s a positive opportunity for our members. They get it much faster than the national accounts do.”