TV Vendors: Independent Dealers Still Matter
Henry Hauser, Vice President of Merchandising, Home Entertainment, Panasonic: Independents are very important to us. We’ve really refocused on them. To be specific, we have a variety of products in plasma, so there’s been a big investment from our factory to provide the proper products for proper channels. Each product has a unique selling proposition and features that allow a step strategy. And we feel that only independents can demonstrate some of these key features and the value-added that they represent.
For example, we just attended the PRO Group meeting and have been in touch with NATM members, and we’re trying to get as much direct contact with those dealers as we can, to make sure they understand our strategy and get them to support it. I feel we’ve gotten very positive responses from them. We believe there are some very strong members there, and that they’ve been able to focus on those top-tier products and relay their benefits.
Drew Pragliola, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, AmTran (JVC): We rely heavily on our regional partners. Today, we really only have one national account, Costo, and we are trying to rebuild the JVC brand through our regionals. They are extremely important to our branding strategy. That will be the base of our distribution. We’ve started doing a lot of business with NATM accounts, and we’ve been very successful in selling the majority of retailers within that group. We’re also having conversations with many of the larger independent retailers, whether they are part of a buying group or not.