John Caldwell

Editor in chief of Dealerscope

Industry veteran John Caldwell, formerly of StJohn Group, announced Monday the launch of Grace Motif, a new marketing and distribution company that will handle several lines formerly handled by StJohn.

The six-year-old StJohn Group, the exclusive North American distributor of select design-oriented lines to an 800-dealer network of custom integrators, will begin shipping next month its first video product ever: the inaugural model in a new line of front projectors it has taken on. The CineVersum Black Wing Two, at $9,995 retail, boasts what John Caldwell, StJohn’s sales director and co-founder, says will be “the strongest specialty support program in the industry for this type of product – namely, instant availability of in-field replacement products and the highest margins available to specialists.” The latter will be effected through different bundled purchases

It’s a familiar enough scenario. Two industry giants who have been at each other’s throats for the last few years decide to shake hands and play nice. The goal: to join and form one large corporation. The challenge: Convincing everyone else you’re not out to destroy them, while simultaneously asking the FCC to forgive the concessions you made, namely to never merge in the first place. If XM and Sirius, the nation’s only two satellite radio companies, have their way they would operate as one entity, combining only financial assets and programming. On either side of this debate are folks who stand to lose

“Home theater is no longer a luxury. It’s a lifestyle item. Our surveys show that people won’t build a new house without a data backbone and entertainment any longer...{Architects and interior designers] are a lucrative new market segment. These are people who shop with their eyes first. The definition of quality to them is not just how a system sounds when it’s on, but how it sounds when it’s off. That’s the new audience out there, and the nice part for dealers is, it’s a lucrative audience.” -John Caldwell, the St. John Group (high-end home entertainment systems distributor)

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