By Janet Pinkerton LAS VEGAS—In years past, one could count on a tidy batch of WinTel-oriented Comdex announcements to tell you which way the PC industry was going, what to expect for the coming year, how to plan. Last month in Las Vegas, there was no such luck. The very notion of the "PC" industry was dismantled by the rise of potentially viable Internet appliances, e-mail appliances, interactive set-top boxes, handheld computing devices and web-surfing wireless phones. With this wave of innovation came the opportunity for new business models, new content, new operating systems, such as Linux and BE, and new processor options from companies such as
Last month Dealerscope had the opportunity to speak about E-Commerce and the U.S. retailing industry before a group of Spanish retailers who were on a business tour of the U.S., sponsored by Samsung Spain. The NYC hotel conference room filled with tension, ambition and cigarette smoke, as the Spanish retailers were briefed by various speakers about the U.S. CE industry, e-commerce and store-front retailing. In the days following the briefing, the group was slated to meet with Circuit City, Best Buy, P.C. Richards and 6th Avenue Electronics. The Spanish retailers face new market dynamics--driven in part by the Euro and the Internet--and increased competition. Wal-Mart's leap in
Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto Entrances & Exits: Fry's Electronics converted an Incredible Universe. CompUSA took ownership of and converted one Computer City site. Office Depot opened a new Stockton store in September. The good guys! remodeled a Modesto store and in July opened a new 30,000-sq.-ft. Audio/Video Exposition store on Arden Way in Sacramento. Retail development in Placerville has picked up. OfficeMax opened there in 1998. Wal-Mart and Target both received separate approvals (pending an adjustment of traffic impact fees) to open locations along Missouri Flat Road on the western edge of Placerville. Target's new Placerville location will be in the proposed 500,000-sq.-ft. Sundance Plaza Shopping Center.
Pittsburgh Entrances & Exits: Circuit City opened two stores in the area. Kaufmans opened a site in Robinson Town Centre in Robinson Township. Lazarus, a mid-to-upper tier department store, moved around the area, closing its Beaver Valley Mall and Greengate Mall stores and opening one in downtown Pittsburgh. The company also opened a stand-alone Lazarus Furniture Showroom. Wal-Mart opened its doors in North Versailles only two months ago. The Penn Crossing Strip Mall was scheduled to break ground in 1998. However, permit issues still keep it at bay. The 26-acre site will have several shops, with Shop 'N Save as an anchor. Two strip
Last month, an important letter came over the transom via fax from one of our readers. Here it is, reprinted with permission: Janet, In browsing through your August '98 issue of Dealerscope, the 1998 Dealer Pride Awards caught my attention. Since I own an independent appliance and electronics business, I enjoyed reading about Abt Electronics and Nebraska Furniture Mart. I stopped, somewhat aghast, when I read the article, also under "Dealer Pride 1998," featuring Sam's Club. I've always considered them to be a predator in our business and a procurer of electronics and appliances for the sole purpose of "leading" customers in, rather than
You know you are a Sam's Club addict when pallets of toilet paper appear in your living room, wastepaper basket-sized boxes of detergent fill your closet, frozen steaks block access to your freezer. And when you make a Sam's pilgramage (once a month for many), after you park the minivan or SUV and step inside the warehouse, one of the first things you'll see is electronics: Big screen TVs gleeming over rows of audio components, washers, dryers and refrigerators line the side walls, telephones, PCs and prerecorded video are priced to sell. When Sam's Club members want or need electronics, this retailer is ready.