Mel Hunger

Editor in chief of Dealerscope

If the dawning of the New Year is a time for reminiscence, 2007 will probably be a year many dealers, distributors and buying group leaders would rather forget. While leaders in the CE industry named the margin free fall and the shift to flat-panel TVs as the most significant market factors of the year, every person who was interviewed said they’ll remember 2007 for its tumultuous economy. Housing sales and prices declined while inventories increased. The subprime mortgage fiasco, the credit crunch and the rise in gas prices dogged consumer confidence. More pricing mayhem was expected on Black Friday, heralded by Wal-Mart’s early

Grasping at an understanding of the CE/appliances marketplace is like snapping a photo at a dimly lit party populated with well-lit revelers. Trying to capture the moment is so daunting because things are never still quite long enough for the image to be anything but a blurry hint of what was really transpiring at the time. But if enough images are taken, a bigger picture can begin to take shape. That’s the reason we’ve sampled comments this month from some of the industry’s major buying groups. Our interviewees represent a wonderful cross-section of purchasing power spanning small, medium and large independents and chains. Ordinarily,

Associated Volume Buyers/Brand Source 100 S. Anaheim Blvd., Suite 250 Anaheim, Calif. 92805 Phone: (714) 502-9620 FAX: (714) 502-9627 Web site: www.brandsource.com e-mail: bob.lawrence@avb.net Bob Lawrence, Executive Director Bill Pleasants, President Kathy Maloney, Comptroller Mike Allen, General Manager Furniture Jim Ristow, General Manager Electronics Members: 1,800 Storefronts: 2,500 Regions: 17 Divisions: 4 Sleep Source-Mike Allen Home Entertainment Source-Jim Ristow Mobile Entertainment Source-Jim Ristow Home Rental Source-Mark Taylor Annual Sales Volume: $5 billion Key Suppliers-Electronics: Thomson, Pioneer, JVC, Mitsubishi, Zenith, EchoStar, DirecTV and Yamaha Key Suppliers-Appliances: General Electric, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Fisher & Paykel, Holland, Oreck and Bosch Key Suppliers-Furniture:

Consumers' current desire and need to stay close to home could prove a boon for some appliance sectors. By Collin Keefe With the year-long economic slump looking like it's going to get worse as 2001 winds down, merchants and manufacturers in almost every sector are lowering their expectations for 2002, while scrambling to amass a survival plan to get themselves out of 2001's hole. In the major appliances world things aren't much different. Recent indicators show that sales, if not flat, are falling. Industry vets like Miele Marketing Manager Lynda Coyle say that throughout the series of economic setbacks in the U.S.

Business was bustling at NECO Alliance Fall Expo at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard, Conn., with attendance up to about 1,200. Post-show, NECO Executive Director Mel Hunger anticipated "more orders than ever before." Only two of NECO's five distributor chapters had reported by press time, but Hunger added, "It was the best show we ever had." New NECO vendors include Hitachi, Einhoven Cookware and a new Energy Star contingent. As for new dealers, Hunger said, "We're looking at new applicants, and, if they qualify, we're receptive to them. We're definitely growing in numbers." Contact Hunger at mel@necoalliance.com or (973) 595-6699.

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