Business Strategy

Circuit City Survey: Shoppers to Get Head Start on Cyber Monday
November 21, 2006

According to a survey conducted by Decision Analyst Inc. on behalf of Circuit City Stores, Inc., many shoppers won’t wait until Cyber Monday, the online equivalent of Black Friday, to begin looking for deals on the Web. The “Circuit City Shopping Survey” reports that of the two-thirds of consumers who look for bargains on Thanksgiving weekend, 57 percent do so both online and in stores. 36 percent limit their search to stores while 7 percent look for discounts exclusively on the Internet. Circuit City plans to be ready for the pre-Cyber Monday rush. Says the head of retail chain’s

Control4 Moves Into Magnolia
November 21, 2006

Control4 continues its march into national retail, announcing that Magnolia Audio Video will now carry the company’s complete line of home control products. This is part and parcel of strategy—earlier in the year Control4 began offering products at Tweeter. “We’ve been working with them for at least a year and have been in test markets,” said Will West, CEO of Control4, of the Best Buy owned retail store. He added that Magnolia’s design and installation services were good enough that his company feels confident in offering its full line at Magnolia’s stores. Magnolia will display Control4 products on the floor and demonstrate home

Wanna PS3? The Race Is On
November 20, 2006

Consumer electronics retailers are a pretty savvy bunch so they come up with all kinds of ways to market great opportunities, such as the new PlayStation 3. But one thing you’ll never do: Force your customers into a musical chair melee resulting in injuries and trips to the hospital in order to get the PS3. But that’s exactly what happened at a Wal-Mart in West Bend, Wis., in the early hours Thursday morning, according to TMJ4, the local news station there. Just reading through the details of the story, one wonders if there was any point in which someone stopped for a second and thought, “Perhaps

Black Friday Sales Leak to the Web
November 17, 2006

The lines are already being drawn for the battle ground that is Black Friday. The Internet has once again proven that no secrets are safe as several sites have gotten advanced information on what sales will be happening at stores across the county. For example, bfads.net, a site that is tracking Black Friday sales, reported that “For anyone who is looking to purchase a PlayStation 3, but doesn’t want to wait in line for the chance to purchase one, Costco.com will be selling them online beginning 8:00am PST on Friday, November 17th.” Of course not everyone is taking kindly to this. The site took

Vizio Slashes HDTV Prices for Black Friday
November 17, 2006

Vizio announced Thursday a combination of new product and low prices which will go into effect on November 24, also known as Black Friday. The new HDTV models include... - VX20LHDTV, a 20” LCD for $399.99 - VX32LHDTV, a 32” LCD for $699.99 - VX37LHDTV, a 37” LCD for $999.99 - VP42HDTV, a 42” plasma for $999.99 - GV46LHDTV, a 46” plasma for $1699.99 Existing Vizio HDTVs that will also be available at a discount starting Black Friday include... - L42HDTV, a 42” LCD for $1,119.99 - GV42LHDTV, a 42” LCD for $1299.99

Dealer Data: Holiday Shopping
November 14, 2006

Whether as an e-commerce engine or an information resource, the Web is continually increasing its reach into retail. But how significant will it be this holiday season? A recent survey conducted by BIGresearch on behalf of the National Retail Federation polled holiday shoppers on how they plan to use the Internet for the current selling season. Overall the research firm found that around 28.9 percent of total shopping budgets of those surveyed would be used online in one form or another. But e-commerce is not the only reason they will be going to the Web. “While many shoppers plan to purchase holiday gifts online this

Contacts: John Price, Owner of Sound Systems, Charlotte, N.C.
November 9, 2006

John Price, the three-year owner of a small CE outfit in Charlotte, NC, is growing his business with a surprisingly simple strategy: capitalize on the low expectations of the American consumer. “People have become accustomed to poor or mediocre service,” says Price. “We’re used to our orders being wrong at the drive-in window. It’s common that you can’t find anyone to really help you in a store. When we look at someone’s home entertainment system and show them we care about how the whole thing is looking and sounding, we become heroes! I believe we offer better service than anyone in our area.

Rally of Independents: MEGA Group USA
November 8, 2006

Mega Group USA’s recently held its Fall Convention and Buying Show September 21-24 at the Coronado Springs Resort at Disney World, Fla. The conference featured both a buying show as well as educational sessions, including four one-hour long sessions focused on private label consumer financing, marketing techniques using print, mail and electronic media, product protection plans using delivery and accessories as a profitable add on. Meetings included one-on-one vendor meetings which Jerry Honea, Furniture and Bedding Division manager explains are extremely important. “Vendors don’t give the independent dealers much face to face time any more,” he said in a statement. “There has to be

Shoptalk: Amber Dinh, “VIP Concierge” at Starpower
November 8, 2006

“I often pick the brains of people in other parts of the retail market. It’s almost like a religion: if you want to be strong in your own, what you need to do is go study others’ to give you a foundation. Buyers from Nordstroms and Saks 5th Avenue have given me ideas about how to best serve customers. Just this past weekend, I threw a birthday party for one of our clients....decorated the store with 200 balloons, a fountain flowing with champagne, the works. 200 people showed up! We kept the store open until 11 p.m. That kind of treatment makes a statement.”

Words on Training: Everyone Needs a Little Business Sense
November 6, 2006

Why teach business management to installers? Because oftentimes, says Bryan Schmitt, a trainer/consultant with Mobile Solutions in Tempe, Ariz., “a shop manager or a store owner is one in the same. I’ve had lots of technicians say to me, ‘You know -- those are some of the most important things I’ve learned -- learning how to charge, because we can do the work, but have lost money on those big jobs.’ Now they have a better understanding of the business side of the installation part of it. Also, I think it’s important that these guys, these installers, are not blind to what’s going on