PRO Group

Ultimate Electronics Rejoins PRO Group
July 15, 2004

Ultimate Electronics and the PRO Buying Group have resumed their business affiliation. The regional specialty retail powerhouse was a member of PRO Group for 17 years before a recent, brief hiatus. The 65-store Ultimate chain becomes PRO Group's 17th current member, repositioning the buying group as an enterprise with 310 storefronts with annual retail sales of $2.3 billion. Ultimate rejoins PRO Group with the philosophy that the advantages of membership outweigh the fact that some of Ultimate's competitors in various markets are also members. "With the CE industry in such technological and distribution flux, leveraging audio/video specialty knowledge is more important than ever," said

Klipsch Announces Major Distribution Changes
February 13, 2003

By David Dritsas 2/13/03—Loudspeaker manufacturer Klipsch Audio Technologies has discontinued its business relationship with Tweeter and Magnolia Hi-Fi. But it also plans to move product into Best Buy and bolster its brand at specialty retail and regional chains Ulitmate Electronics and Good Guys. Brand repositioning is the major theme of the distribution change, according to Paul Jacobs, Klipsch chief operating officer. Jacobs said that, while the Synergy Series line of speakers was initially intended to be phased out entirely, the company whittled down the line to 14 SKUs and will sell through Best Buy, Magnolia Hi-Fi's parent company, as of Memorial

Pipeline - Industry Headlines
December 1, 2002

Sharp Slices LCD Prices Sharp slashed prices of its AQUOS LCD TV models. MSRPs of the B2U and C3U Series dropped from $1,199.95 to $999.95 (13-inch), $1,499.95 to $1,199.95 (15-inch) and $2,499.95 to $1,999.95 (20-inch). B1U PC Card Slot models fell from $1,699.95 to $1,399.95 (15-inch) and $2,699.95 to $2,199.95 (20-inch). E1U Series models dropped from $1,199.95 to $899.95 (13-inch), $1,499.95 to $1,099.95 (15-inch), and $2,499.95 to $1,799.95 (20-inch). Prices of Sharp's widescreen LCDs, which just shipped this fall, also dropped, with the 22-inch cut from $3,799.95 to $2,999.95 and the 30-inch from $6,999.95 to $5,999.95. Supporting the price cuts will be a 30-second

Movers & Shakers- Industry People on the Move
February 1, 2002

CEO and President Kenneth R. Weller of Good Guys stepped in as chairman of the company's board of directors when Ronald A. Unkefer retired as chairman and as a board member. Unkefer remains the company's largest individual shareholder. Unkefer returned to Good Guys in 1999 to lead the retailer's turn around and brought 11-year Good Guys veteran Weller back into the fold after a seven year stint at Best Buy. Former Senior Vice President of Services for Best Buy Lowell Peters is now chairman of Partsearch's Advisory Board. Peters has been a services industry professional for more than 34 years, including 20 years

Movers & Shakers Industry People on the Move
October 1, 2001

The Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA) tapped noted installer David "Fishman" Rivera to provide fabrication training for installers at each of MERA's Mobile Education Tour events. Two events occured in Hartford, Conn, and in Lisle/Naperville, Ill. last month. The next and final event is scheduled for Oct. 28th in Orlando, Fla. For more information, call MERA at (800) 949-6372. The Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) elected its executive committee for 2001-2002: CEDIA President Jeff Hoover of Audio Advisors; Vice President Ray Lepper of Home Media Stores; Treasurer Mitchell Klein of Media Systems; Secretary Andy Willcox of Pro Line Integrated Systems; and

Pipeline News
February 1, 2001

NARDA Independent Retailer Goes Online NARDA is now offering back issue articles of NARDA Independent Retailer on its Web site. The site will offer articles, including management articles, dealer profiles and advice columns, as far back as 1996. At NARDA's Web site,, members have access to the articles, as well as new features, such as a tutorial "How to Diagnose and Solve Financial Problems" and forms and policies dealers need to help manage their businesses, which include job descriptions and employee education. PC Sales Drop in 2000 A January report from PC Data showed a 24 percent drop in desktop computer

Best of 2000 at CES
February 1, 2001

LAS VEGAS—Dealerscope and E-Gear's Best of 2000 awards reception, held January 6, the opening night of the 2001 International CES, featured cold beer, good blues and an impressive awards roster. A multimedia presentation sponsored by Forbes Magazine honored five Dealerscope Hall of Fame inductees (including the first two retailers in the Hall of Fame's 10-year history), four retail Dealerscope Pride Awards and the innovative, designated winners of the Dealerscope Editors' Choice and E-Gear All-Star Awards. Tired feet and busy schedules notwithstanding, we had a blast. Eric Schwartz, vice president and group publisher of Dealerscope and sister consumer magazine E-Gear, chats with Tom DeVesto

Dealer Pride 1999 - At Tweeter etc., Nationwide Growth
August 1, 1999

CANTON, Mass.—"We're having fun," said Sandy Bloomberg, Tweeter etc. chairman and CEO, as he and President and COO Jeff Stone talk about their company's growth-by-acquisition transition into a coast-to-coast specialty CE chain. Backed initially by venture capital and now by public investors, Tweeter etc.'s expansion has been rapid and far reaching: Bryn Mawr Stereo & Video of King of Prussia, Pa., acquired in May 1996; HiFi Buys of Atlanta in May 1997, Home Entertainment of Texas in February 1999 and Dow Stereo/Video in San Diego in July 1999. Membership in the Progressive Retailers Organization set the stage for the deals that drove Tweeter etc.'s

1999 Buying Group Profiles
March 1, 1999

Associated Volume Buyers (AVB) 5000 East Spring StreetSuite 390 Long Beach, CA 90815 Phone: (562) 496-4402 Fax: (562) 496-4543 website: e-mail: Bob Lawrence, Executive Director Dan Crain, President Kathy Maloney, Comptroller Mike Allen, Furniture Coordinator Jim Ristow, Electronics Coordinator Members: 1,100 Storefronts: 1,800 Chapters: 15 Annual Sales Volume: $3.5 billion Key Suppliers: Electronics: Thomson, Pioneer, JVC, Mitsubishi, Zenith, Hitachi, Primestar, Echostar, DirecTV. Key Suppliers, Appliances: General Electric, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Fisher & Paykel, Holland, Oreck. Key Suppliers, Furniture: Ashley, Lane Action, Powell, Best Chair, Simmons, Stratford, Pulaski, Howard Miller. Description: Associated Volume Buyers is a 100 percent member-owned, member-managed