CE Bag Retailer Looking to Tie One On This Summer!
June 2, 2006

Crumpler, the hipster-luring Australian-based accessories manufacturer and retailer, will kick off a nine-day “Beer for Bags” sale tomorrow in Manhattan, allowing customers to come in off the street and exchange bottles and cases of beer for computer, camera, or messenger bags. (This from the company’s ever-innovative marketing department that once put its jolly stick-figure logo on those little stickers you find on fruit.) Though Crumpler products (including covers for iPods and PDA’s) are carried in retail outlets across the country, the specialty bag retailer recently opened a signature custom bag store in Greenwich Village. A second Crumpler store is on Spring Street in

May 1, 2006

Just a few years ago, a number of audio/video vendors were following the lead of the Philips Pronto remote and selling nearly buttonless universal LCD remotes or packaging them with receivers. Many were getting into the game: Onkyo, Denon, Harman Kardon, Marantz and others. These devices were not only universal remotes, but offered features such as infrared and radio frequency (RF) communication, rechargeable batteries, PC compatibility for downloading updates and IR codes and LCD screens and graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that eliminated many of the buttons found on conventional remotes. This was the future of the remote—it seemed. Not long after their introductions, many

Lessons From the Field
May 1, 2006

As you might expect these days, the vast majority of questions I get on the CEA “Digital Answer Man Tour” are about flat screens, digital HDTV and digital music. But increasingly I get asked a lot about accessories. This reflects the growing importance of this category of products that make primary consumer electronics devices work better, connect to one another or make them easier to take along in this age of “content anywhere.” The CE accessory business is now more than $2 billion and growing as cutting edge digital and wireless technologies produce an ever-expanding roster of smaller and more mobile devices, that let

Cell Phone or a Swiss Army Knife?
May 1, 2006

Selling Digital Cameras? Carry the Ones with a Keypad Don’t be surprised if you start seeing people holding their cell phones horizontally instead of vertically later this year. A new generation of high-quality camera phones were introduced at CTIA and the new shooters have as many or more functions as quality digital cameras. Sony Ericsson debuted the K790, its branded “Cyber-shot phone,” with an impressive 3.2 megapixels, autofocus capabilities, a Xenon flash, an active lens cover and a technology called “BestPic” which shoots in burst mode (9 shots a second) and allows you to choose the clearest image. When held horizontally, the “back” of this

Hidden Treasure
April 1, 2006

Imagine being able to add thousands of dollars of profitability to a location per month without increasing any overhead. How, you ask? One word: accessories. For many wireless retailer accessory sales are an afterthought—a category that provides some incremental sales and profitability, but one in which the true potential remains untapped. From a consumer standpoint, accessories are both needed and wanted. Utilitarian accessories such as car chargers, carrying cases and handsfree are basic necessities of operating a wireless phone and, in some cases, even mandated by state law. These are the type of accessories that customers need, but far too often retailers

RadioShack’s Wireless Strategy
March 1, 2006

Even established retailers have to mix things up once in a while to remain fresh and relevant to their customer base. No retailer may need that more than RadioShack. To say that it’s been a rough couple of months for the national retailer would be an understatement. But the company has been making a number of changes to improve its well-established position, some of which could rub off on other dealers who sell wireless products and services. RadioShack’s year did not start off well. A recent academic credentials scandal involving the now-resigned President and CEO David Edmondson was a dark mark for the company,

Mobile Phones and Accessories
March 1, 2006

In 2005, mainland China and Taiwan shipped a combined export volume of 223 million mobile phones worldwide. This figure accounts for 29 percent of the estimated worldwide shipments of 760 million units by the IDC. Mainland China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII) and the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) of Taiwan’s Industrial and Technology and Research Institute (ITRI) place aggregate output from mainland China and Taiwan at 326.10 million units in 2005. Compared to the 2004 figures, production volume from Greater China is expected to grow by 31 percent in 2005. Export volume will grow by as much as 71 percent. At present,

Get the Most Out of Your Accessory Shelf
February 1, 2006

Gordon Tetreault Director of sales and marketing, accessory products Maxell Corporation of America The margin of protection and profitability to be gained from stocking and selling accessories is an often-told tale. What is less frequently discussed is what retailers can do to energize accessories sales. Unlike destination products such as wide-screen televisions, DVD recorders or digital cameras, accessories are often impulse purchases tied to the products they clean, protect or make more flexible and enjoyable. Here are some strategies that we've found accelerate accessories sales: Empower salespeople with information. Make sure that your sales associates know that the sale of an iPod player can generate the sale of four

Growing the Accessories Market
December 1, 2005

To grow the accessories market, education will be key Mike O'Neal Chair, CEA Accessories Division President and CEO, Philips Accessories and Computer Peripherals Accessories may not be the first thing on the minds of consumers when they walk into an electronics store, but these items, which range from two dollar batteries to sleek home theater display furniture, are a crucial element to the enjoyment of a consumer electronics purchase. They're the tools that keep laptops safe, cell phones juiced and iPods personalized. More and more, consumers realize that in order to get the most out of their electronics products, they need the right mix

Give 'em What They Want
October 1, 2005

Accessories Keep Consumers Happy, Reduce Product Returns By Fay Wood and Rip Hanks It's no secret to anyone that product returns hurt profitability for the entire supply chain and that building consumer loyalty is the key to ensuring success for everyone. As the consumer electronics industry evolves into a commodity business with decreasing profit margins, the accessories category has emerged as one of the behind-the-scenes heroes. Not only are profit margins better for the retailer, manufacturers benefit as well. With all this potential staring us in the face, why aren't retailers and manufacturers maximizing on it? In our opinion, it is a simple matter of understanding the