Business Strategy

CE and Appliance Buying Group Profiles
November 1, 2006

Associated Volume Buyers/Brand Source 100 S. Anaheim Blvd., Suite 250 Anaheim, CA 92805 Phone: (714) 502-9620 Fax: (714) 502-9627 Web site: Bob Lawrence, Executive Director Jeff Tracy, President Skip Ignaczak, Vice President, Finance Mark Pardini, Vice President, Merchandising Bill Pleasants, Sr., Vice President, Merchandising Kathy Maloney, Comptroller Mike Allen, General Manager, Furniture Bob Donaldson, General Manager, Marketing Jim Ristow, General Manager, Electronics John White, General Manager, Appliances Members: 2,200 Storefronts: 3,000 Annual Sales Volume: $5 billion Regions: 17 Divisions: 7 Sleep Source: Mike Allen Home Entertainment Source Mobile Entertainment Source Home Rental

Feeding Best Buy
November 1, 2006

In 2004, Best Buy announced its strategic intent to bring about a cultural transformation of the company by launching a program called “Consumer Centricity.” As Brad Anderson, the company’s vice chairman and CEO put it, “This enables us to engage more deeply with customers by empowering employees to deliver tailored products, solutions and services to customers through our stores, Web sites, call centers and in-home services.” In short, Best Buy was proposing to turn the typical retail information flow on its head, from “top-down to bottom-up” where consumer demand would ultimately drive its operations and supply chain—from the factories halfway around the world, to

The E-Cycling Enigma
November 1, 2006

The Golden State just might have yet more fame to tout—the most clutter-free closets, basements, and attics in America. In January of 2005, California enacted a groundbreaking electronics waste recycling law and households from San Francisco to San Diego were purged of old computers, monitors, and televisions. But, not only are California’s consumers and businesses motivated to e-cycle, lawmakers in other states are taking notice and rushing to follow suit with laws of their own. This is both good news and bad. The good news is more end-of-life CE products are being properly disposed of by responsible recyclers. And the downside? A patchwork of

NYC’s J&R Music World: Where High-Profile, High-Touch Events Score
November 1, 2006

Manhattan-based CE retailers tend to be anomalies that operate in a manner that isn’t typical of the rest of the country. Their style perfectly suits the pedestrian shopper who likes to trot over from a nearby office high-rise on a lunch hour to check out the latest gear, or the apartment dweller taking a constitutional to bag a just-released DVD. But actually drawing customers to you when you’re not on their “destination radar,” conversely, can pose unique challenges, particularly in the downtown area, where the close streets and clusters of World Trade Center site tourists make getting to any store a zigzag obstacle course

Survey Says
November 1, 2006

As a result of MERA’s board of trustees’ 2005 strategic planning session, MERA established a new focus, outlining new goals to drive the association as it aims to elevate the success of specialty retailers in the mobile enhancement industry. One of the stated goals was that “MERA will be the first place retailers turn for industry insight and guidance.” To this end, MERA’s primary objective is to “increase our ability to collect, categorize and analyze data on emerging industry issues.” With input from select industry professionals who comprise MERA’s newly formed Forecast Advisory Committee, MERA has begun compiling “Industry Forecasts.” These reports provide direction

Q4 Group Advice
November 1, 2006

Industry buying groups have advised members to tighten their inventory reigns this holiday season. At HES, General Manager Jim Ristow says, “We’re advising our members that, rather having 60 to 90 days of inventory, we’re recommending 30 days of inventory and work closely with the manufacturer or warehouse rep to stay focused on key models. Continuously order and turn, and have those orders in the system and tweak them based on sell-through. “We’re also encouraging them to use ExpertWarehouse (which serves HES, BrandSource and MARTA members) as their warehouse—they’re ordering $5,000 at a time, and that’s not very many units—and just keep turning it.

Karp Leaves Harvey Electronics
October 31, 2006

Long-time Harvey Electronics employee and recent CEO and president, Franklin Karp, has resigned his position, citing that he will pursue other interests. Karp was with the company for 15 years. To replace him, Harvey’s board of directors appointed Martin McClanan as Interim Chief Executive Officer. McClanan is a retail executive who was the CEO of RedEnvelope, Inc. and President of Flax Art & Design. He has also held positions in marketing and sales management at Nestle and the Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery. This year Harvey Electronics has not seen the best of times. Since the beginning of 2006 the company has seen decreasing net

Staying Ahead in Price Drop Season
October 27, 2006

In mid-October, Kamran Tehrani, buyer for retail products at Video and Audio Center in Santa Monica and Lawndale, Calif., was planning to meet the price drop on that 50-inch Panasonic plasma in his store’s weekend advertising. Tehrani was working his manufacturer sources, asking for more advertising money, maybe even spif for the sales people and mark-down money to, as he says, “ease the pain” of the price cut. Tehrani has been with Video and Audio Center for five years as a buyer, and he views forecasting as more of an art as a than a science. “You can go back and look at a

e-Play Launches DVD-Burning Vending Machines
October 26, 2006

You walk into a Wendy’s. You think you might be in the mood for a movie with your dinner. You see an e-Play machine in the corner. Using the 23-inch LCD touch screen you pick a movie from an inventory 800 titles strong. Within 30 seconds, you have a burned DVD copy of your flick (or you can just download it to your MP3 player). That’s the idea behind e-Play’s test launch of its DVD-burning vending machines in 50 Columbus, Ohio stores by Thanksgiving with further rollouts in other areas by early 2007. The machines will appear

Contacts: Robert Allaire, President of Bellingham Electric (Bellingham, Mass.)
October 19, 2006

For the last fifty-four years, someone in Robert Allaire’s family has been selling electronics or appliances. That day-in, day-out retail experience has earned the business, Bellingham Electric, a strong local reputation as well as a roster of store traditions. “Our customers have come to expect our quarterly sales,” says Allaire. “They’ll ask us, “Hey, what’s the date of the Private Sale this year?’” That Private Sale, launched back in 1992, is one of four major promotional events the Allaire family has developed and advertised over the years. “We take one day at the end of March each year and, basically, make it a customer appreciation