Janet Pinkerton

Janet Pinkerton
The Opportunist Who Launched a Market

John Koss remembers well when his partner, engineer Martin Lange Jr., called to him from an upstairs room. “He said he thought he had something,” Koss said.

Beyond the Clouds

According to last year’s headlines, Best Buy was supposed to be dead by now. “5 Reasons Best Buy’s 5-Point Plan Will Fail” proclaimed Motley Fool. “Best Buy: Is This the Last Public Gasp?” queried Forbes.

New Jersey Internet Sales Tax Battle Heats Up

Independent retailers face more customers who want their company's knowledge and services, but demand they match Internet pricing, without the sales tax.

Like many independents, Debbie Schaeffer, president and CEO Mrs. G's TV & Appliance, and Dan Schwartz, president of Karl's Appliance, face an increasing number of customers who want their company's knowledge and services, but demand they match Internet pricing - pricing that doesn't include the state's 7 percent sales tax.

Turning Consumers Onto a New Sound

Computer audio just might be the savior CE dealers are looking for CE dealers around the country, battered by the drop in TV margins, are increasing their focus on selling computer audio systems, an effort that's backed by more comprehensive and connected customer demonstrations.

Changing Tides

First, the good news: Consumer electronics retailers are more efficient than they've ever been, running lean and mean with low inventory and trimmed costs. On top of that, consumer credit has loosened a bit.

The Roots of Success

Mid-morning on Black Friday, with half of his Lewisburg, Pa., holiday household still asleep, Doug Calem tried in vain to enjoy a free movie on his new Kindle Fire. But the movie repeatedly stopped and started.

Connecting With Customers

When asked what convergence products he sells, Paul Sherman figured the easiest way to answer the question was by listing the SKUs that don't fall into that category.

"Beyond a few basic televisions, a couple Blu-ray players, couple receivers and some speakers, almost everything we have these days has some aspect of Internet connectivity, the ability to stream audio or video, or do remote updates," said Sherman, the general manager of Sherman's, Peoria, Ill.

Today's CE products are true chatter boxes: they talk to each other, to the Cloud, to smartphones, tablets and just about anything else that's IP-based. But if dealers and retailers don't have a robust, in-store network to properly demonstrate these products, that conversation, especially the one that starts with the customer, is dead.

Dealing With
 Competition & Complexity

Retailers this holiday selling season face an even more complex dilemma than in the past: figuring out how to profit from mobile electronics amid heavy price competition and a double-digit rise in Internet sales.

Fighting Counterfeits

If last month’s uncovering of at least five fake Apple stores in Kumming, the capital city of Yunnan Province in Southwest China, wasn’t so shocking, it would have been laughable.

Barrett's Technology Solutions, Naperville, Ill.

Barrett's Home Theater changed its name last May to Barrett's Technology Solutions. But for six full months after that, the name was about the only thing that had changed. Retail CE products still took center stage in the store, with design, installation and other offices relegated to the perimeter.

Changing Models

Here's a quick look at two specialty dealers that changed their business models to adjust with the times. We'd like to hear about any major changes that you've implemented in your business and the measurable results they've generated. Email joheir@napco.com.

Ventura TV To Launch Own TV Station and New Site

For 60 years, Ventura TV Video Appliance Center in Fresno, Calif., has been switching it up.  Operating out of its original 10,000 square-foot location and a 15,000 square-foot warehouse/distribution center, the dealer is placing renewed emphasis on consumer electronics.