Online selling without manufacturer consent still causes problems By Markkus Rovito The issue of manufacturers authorizing e-tailers to sell their products online has been around for a while, yet it is often still a pain in the side of dealers and vendors alike. Neither group wants to see unauthorized sellers, but preventing them from buying products "sideways" or from distributors, enforcing an MAP price and guaranteeing the condition of product once it reaches the consumer can be tricky if not impossible. Steve Caldero, vice president of sales at Yamaha Electronics, related that Yamaha has had problems with its dealers selling to unauthorized retailers. The company
Digital Video is again the most popular saving grace for the year ahead By Markkus Rovito What product or technology would most impact your businesses next year? Heading into 2002, a plurality of Dealerscope's Editorial Advisory Board members cite digital video products—mainly displays and DVD. Jeff Cove, group VP, merchandising for Panasonic, said, "There are two items driving the business: DVD and digital television. They almost go hand-in-hand, and we expect them to lead next year." Wayne Park, senior VP, sales and marketing, Zenith, said, "Our focus is new display technologies, especially the thin, flat technologies. The market is still small, but
By Markkus Rovito There are two kinds of coffee drinkers in the world: the kind that settles for a large coffee with cream from Dunkin' Donuts and the kind that insists on an iced mocha latte from Starbucks. "The big box guys are like Dunkin' Donuts; we're like Starbucks," said Noah Herschman, vice president of marketing for Tweeter Home Entertainment Group. "Starbucks is for people who are serious and passionate about coffee. We want to be the store for people who are passionate about not only consumer electronics, but also movies, music and sports, which is what you use consumer electronics for." Tweeter's
By Markkus Rovito There's little doubt that both the RCA and Sony SAT-W60 DirecTV receivers with UltimateTV service are cool and innovative products, but many consumers are yet unaware of not only this product but also PVRs in general and the way they can radically change the television viewing experience. It will take a focused sales strategy and show floor demonstration to make some of the tougher UltimateTV sales. Microsoft and Sony both have teams traveling to UltimateTV retailers to help train sales people on how to do effective UltimateTV demonstrations and to present the key information to customers. Covering the 18 top
By Markkus Rovito Amidst the bulk of professional broadcasting and content creation news and products announced at the National Association of Broadcasters 2001 trade show, an underlying theme was the momentum gain the industry feels is happening in the transition to digital television. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced that they would be partnering in a promotional effort to expand consumer awareness of DTV products and programming options. A print and broadcasts advertising campaign will launch in the fall along with retailer tie-ins. The groups will be meeting in June to work out more details.
Video is Upwardly MobileBy Markkus RovitoAs the one-hit wonder said, "Video Killed the Radio Star" when MTV hit in the early '80s. Now, video is at it again, as the mobile video category is beating back radio and CD to become "the shining star of the mobile electronics industry," according to Mike Cofield, president of Custom Sounds in Austin, Texas. Just as DVD and DTV are doing in the home electronics industry, mobile video is growing rapidly in a year that's been otherwise soft for CE sales. "The growth of the category is explosive," said Dan Brettler, chairman and CEO of Car