CEA Offers Marketing Tools For PARA, TechHome Members
July 26, 2007

The Consumer Electronics Association announced this week that it is offering a “full suite” of marketing tools for members of its Professional Audio-Video Retailer (PARA) and TechHome groups, with the help of the marketing and PR firm Eclipse Marketing. The materials offered include e-newsletters, literature, Web sites, vehicle wraps, and other media commonly offered by Eclipse. Those interested can read about the special offer at

NARDA on Forecasting
November 2, 2006

North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA) Executive Director Tom Drake admits that buying groups have a much closer relationship with retailers, when it comes to product forecasting. But Drake cited three NARDA resources that can help members with resources to improve their forecasting and inventory management skills. 1) NARDA University programs on enterprise planning and strategic planning, designed to guide dealers on their larger objectives in business planning. 2) NARDA Cost of Doing Business Survey, the most recent of which dates from 2005 and was completed in partnership with PARA. Data in the survey—concerning age of inventory and carrying costs, for example—can be used to

People on the Move
October 13, 2006

Robert Thompson, a former Maytag Corporation Vice President, was named Managing Director of MARTA Cooperative of America. Thompson spent 32 years with Maytag, working his way up from a Field Market Manager to Vice President of Customer Development. Thompson’s responsibilities at Maytag included Lowe’s, Best Buy, Retail Buying Groups, Telesales, and the Crosley brand. In his role at MARTA, he will be responsible for providing leadership as well as implementing strategic and operational direction for the Scottsdale based buying cooperative. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that Kerry Moyer, senior director of strategic relationships, has been named as the first executive director of PARA

Seeking Best Practices
March 1, 2006

A few years ago, I asked 40 different industry suppliers to list their best dealers. I also asked them what characteristics made those dealers the best. Almost all vendors said that their top dealers were those who had developed best practices in a number of key areas. Google “best business practices” and you’ll find hundreds of pages of articles on the topic. Focusing on best practices has become the latest mantra of business gurus, but the process of defining and implementing them can be complex. They vary from business to business, and they are always rooted in a company’s core values. For instance,

The Year of HD
March 1, 2006

Content sells. It sells satellite radio, direct-broadcast satellite TV, cable and MP3 players; and it most definitely sells HDTV. This year content providers, broadcasters and manufacturers will generate unprecedented excitement around HDTV, offering viewers and potential buyers the most high-definition (HD) programming to date. 2006, the year of HD, sprung to life at the International CES with manufacturers announcing next-generation high-definition DVD players and movie studios revealing plans to release pre-recorded HD by year’s end. Overall, total DTV sales for 2005 reached more than 12 million units and $17 billion in revenue, an increase of 60 percent compared to year-end 2004. High-definition products comprised

The Price of Oblivion
August 1, 2005

No news is good news, right? Wrong. Very wrong. Over the last year, our entire management structure at Bjorn's Audio-Video reorganized—and not by choice. The shake-up began in early 2004, with an exodus of relatively new employees in our custom division to a competing business founded by a former salesman of ours. Losing more than half of our custom installers in a matter of weeks taught us we were dangerously out of touch with that part of our business. Then, as we rebuilt our custom division, other internal issues—not the least of which was the unexpected death of my partner Bob White last December—drove

A Show of Their Own
August 1, 2004

Elan takes a chance at hosting its own dealer conference By David Dritsas Elan Home Systems wagered that it could host a two-day conference for its network of dealers, hoping that many of them would make a trip off the beaten path to Lexington, Ky., home to horse racing, bourbon and Elan's corporate headquarters. The bet paid off in spades, as approximately 380 people attended, beating the company's most optimistic expectations. The population ranged from owners to salespeople to technicians. "I was hoping for 150," said Cat Fowler, director of marketing for Elan, "but by the the end I was unfortunately turning people

PARA Merges with CEA
April 30, 2004

On June 1 The Professional Audio/Vide Retailers Association (PARA) will finalize a merger with the Consume Electronics Association (CEA), according to a recent CEA announcement. The move is indicative of CEA's goal to obtain higher-end A/V dealer and specialty retail members, bringing them closer into their organization. According to CEA, it will create a new PARA Division that represents specialty audio-video, custom installation, and home theater companies. The division will promote the value of the specialty audio-video retail channel of distribution to the CE industry as a whole and grow the professionalism of specialty retailers within that channel. CEA will continue PARA's existing programs including

CE Leaders That Rock
October 1, 2003

What makes a leader rock? Foremost, it's leadership. When Dealerscope set out to put together this issue, we asked readers and associates to nominate leaders in the consumer electronics industry whose influence and vision extend beyond the brands they promote or the stores they run. We wanted people with foresight, who inspire and motivate their employees—people with the drive to go farther and do better. We wanted executives who are as good for the CE business as the CE business is for them. Each person appearing below is just that kind of individual.The goal was to find some of the best minds

Ultimate Electronics
August 1, 2002

The Big (and Bigger) of It By Natalie Hope McDonald It started humbly on Rawlston Road as an audio shop in a town called Arvada, Colorado. But 27 stores later, Ultimate Electronics (UE) is a contender, one of the major retailers of mid- to high-end audio, video and home entertainment electronics in the industry. Founded in 1968, UE took the idea of "growing pains" and redefined it as a strategy that would mandate two steps for every one the competition took. By 1997, the company acquired a West Coast consumer specialty electronics retailer, Audio King Corporation, which further complemented Ultimate's daughter company,