For most companies, searching for the right CEO is one of the toughest challenges they face. The task gets even tougher for public companies with an extremely aggressive growth strategy. But for Jerry Throgmartin and the board at hhgregg, the choice of Dennis May was a no-brainer.
800.com resisted trendy virtual retail and opted for control By David Dritsas Two years ago the term "dot-com" meant wealth, success, the wave of the future, etc. Fast forward to today, and the term elicits quite a different and opposite response. Amid the fallout and the pundits that claim "I told you so," or the failed entrepreneurs who cry, "Where did we go wrong?" sit a few dot-coms that haven't filed Chapter 11. Near the top of that list sits 800.com, a Web and catalog consumer electronics specialty retailer that is still growing even in these troubled times. Why aren't they hanging
Commentary by Harry Elias, Executive VP and COO, JVC Company of America About 10 years ago, in my travels, I walked out of a Best Buy in Dayton, Ohio, and saw REX TV next door and Circuit City, Sun TV and Sears up the street. Five major retailers within a shopping parking lot. In Dayton, Ohio, yet! I said at the time, "There's no way it's going to work," and it didn't work. A 1983 NATM plaque on the wall of my office now reads like a tombstone. Lechmere, Luskins, Highland, Steinbergs, Brick Church, Silo, Sun TV—they are all gone. Circuit City and REX
By Laura Spidale Let's talk for a minute about why egghead.com loves--just luuvvvvvs--Amazon.com. "Every time someone successfully buys a $20 book from Amazon.com, it prepares him to buy a $2,000 computer system from Egghead," John Hough, Egghead.com's spokeman, said. After divesting itself of its remaining 87 brick-and-mortar outlets, Egghead in fiscal 1998 moved operations to the web. Consumers ordered about $293.1 million worth of goods from the company web site. The nation's top 50 consumer electronics retailers in 1998 garnered $64.3 billion in sales, a 10.58 percent increase over the $58.1 billion earned in 1997. No one knows exactly how much of that total to attribute to Internet
Cleveland Entrances & Exits: The closing of all Sun TV stores opened up a little territory in the very competitive market. Office Depot opened one store in nearby Mansfield. A new high-end store, Audio Visions, opened up in the suburbs to strong acceptance. Major independents include B&B Appliance, Snow Brothers (which moved to a bigger location in November), Hoffmans Audio and Video and Audio Craft. Economy: Business activity was good in industries such as construction but a little less so in manufacturing. Production, particularly in agriculture, was good despite low corn and soy prices. Retail sales remained fairly even in 1998. The Federal Reserve
Slave (to PC Inventory) No More By Janet Pinkerton Building PCs for customer orders taken at retail: Manufacturers want it. Retailers want it. This next step in supply chain management could mean more precious margin--for vendors and, maybe, retailers. Ah, but to do BTO well: to offer the customer what they want, keep component inventory tight but available, deliver on time, maintain quality assurance/quality control, build the volume needed to make it all worthwhile. Therein lies the challenge. Circuit City is readying a multivendor build-to-order pilot that is to launch in August, with Compaq, Hewlett Packard, IBM and NEC Packard Bell slated to particpate.
By Laura Spinale Except for a couple of powerhouse retailers, the word that seemed to be leaping off major appliance retailers lips this past year was "turnaround." And with good reason. Retailers retrenched, closed stores, cut product lines, even filed for bankruptcy. But now, it seems, the worst is over, with some painful lessons learned. It's a flat market, but some major appliance retailers have learned, or are learning, to survive. The nation's top 25 major appliance retailers in 1997 pulled down $10.29 billion in category sales, representing a slight drop from the $10.47 billion garnered in 1996. Despite Montgomery Ward's fiscal woes (it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection