Brand Source

Brand Source: Appliance Business Strong, Despite Economy
August 27, 2008

“It’s clear that you refuse to participate in the recession.” That’s what Brand Source CEO Bob Lawrence told attendees on Day Two at the buying group’s annual National Convention and Buying Fair, as he rattled off shipment growth percentages that reflected increases in many of the product categories the group handles. He said that while the industry was down 7.8 percent in appliance shipments, BrandSource’s appliance business was up 1.5 percent on the whole. In consumer electronics, with the industry up three percent in shipments, BrandSource CE shipments were tracking at nine percent up from last year. And in furniture, with the industry

Strength In Numbers
May 1, 2008

Joining a buying group to improve a dealer’s competitive edge against big-box retailers is nothing new. But it is a relatively new strategy that’s gaining popularity for mobile electronics (ME) retailers. The model for buying groups serving CE retailers never quite worked for ME dealers. After all, there are vehicle-specific specialty lines, distributors that stock a variety of products and manufacturer reps pounding the pavement and pitching just about every product line under the sun to every dealer with a storefront. One of the biggest problems, according to industry players, is that it was difficult for buying groups to provide the

Brand Source’s Lawrence: We’re Better Than Bigger
March 19, 2008

“You are in the greatest position going forward than ever, as independents. This time, for us, is phenomenal. It says to our suppliers that the be-all and end-all is not the box store. The prevailing belief today that bigger is better will break down.” So said Brand Source CEO Bob Lawrence in the group’s 2008 Summit General Session yesterday, exhorting dealer members in attendance to “never give up, never back down, never lose faith” in the face of market challenges. He pointed out that a market landscape where the likes of Home Depot and Lowe’s are suffering the backlash of slower housing starts and

Ristow: HES a ‘National Alternative’ to the Big Box
March 18, 2008

Professing that “HES is the only national alternative to the box stores for high-end consumer electronics,” Home Entertainment Source executive vice president Jim Ristow kicked off Day One of the Brand Source buying group’s Dallas-held “Mission Possible: Success” 2008 Summit – a convocation that included motivational and manufacturer presentations, deal-brokering and networking opportunities –which this year attracted a 75 percent larger attendance from the HES membership, he said. Bob Lawrence, Brand Source CEO, noted that the HES outbranch, which had recently passed the 500 mark in membership numbers, “has significant meaning to the Brand Source group as a whole; it’s

HES Holds Brand Source Summit
March 17, 2008

A brief survey of specialty dealers and custom integrators populating the food and drink stations at the welcome reception for Brand Source’s 2008 Summit and Buying Fair, being held through March 19 at Dallas’ Hilton Anatole Hotel, revealed a hopeful business attitude despite the effects of an economy in the doldrums. Speaking for Brand Source’s Home Entertainment Source (HES) membership, Jim Ristow, HES executive vice president, says that if pre-registration for the event is any indication, this year’s show will be the largest ever. “HES member attendance is up 75 percent over 2007, and floor space square footage is up 40 percent,” he

HES Announces New Board, Partnerships
February 6, 2008

The California-based Home Entertainment Source announced this week that it has reached several new partnerships, including factory-direct programs with Anthem and Panamax/Furman. In addition, HES has added DVDO and Leviton to its Custom Warehouse program. In addition, HES announced the results of its recent board elections, in which Stuart Schuster of Marvin Electronics was elected the group’s new president. David Pidgeon of Starpower Home Entertainment Systems was also elected to a board seat, while former president Bob Cole of World Wide Stereo and five others will remain on the board, The division, which is part of Brand Source, will hold its Home

MERA Partners with Volume Buyer
January 1, 2008

For those of you who have been a part of the mobile electronics industry for the past decade, I think we can agree these times are far from our most profitable. With many companies participating in “the race to zero” in once profitable categories such as mobile video and navigation, business owners are left looking for new categories to make a buck. But I further believe 2008 is going to be strong for those who recognize a good opportunity when it approaches them. The days of manufacturer-given profits are long gone and it is up to individuals to figure out ways to build

HES’s Ristow Previews Black Friday
October 19, 2007

Jim Ristow, Home Entertainment Source (HES) executive vice president, told a contingent of Brand Source members who dialed into the group’s first-ever webinar yesterday in a Q4 industry overview presentation that dealers who choose to offer deep day-after-Thanksgiving flat-panel deals as store-traffic drivers could expect to foot the bill – a phenomenon he characterized as “180 degrees [different] from 2006.” “Last year,” Ristow said, “Black Friday was funded by vendors.” But that was because they “overbuilt inventory – they took forecasts they got, and added ‘X’ percent, maybe 20 percent. Then, they had to get rid of the goods and thus, there was this retail

January 1, 2007

Every year Dealerscope has the pleasure of honoring the most influential leaders in consumer technology with the Dealerscope Hall of Fame Awards. The inductees are selected by the magazine staff after consulting with various members of the industry. This year, Dealerscope honors five individuals from the retailing and manufacturing parts of the industry. These inductees represent the best and brightest talent in the consumer electronics world. They have singled themselves out through their vision, leadership and accomplishments, and have helped shape the industry for the better. In the pages that follow we profile this year’s inductees and allow them to share their experiences and