Mike Llewellyn

Electronic checks aren't exactly a new technology—they've been around for a few years now—but they have been a little slow to appear among the small to mid-size electronics retailers. All that may be about to change. With the passage of the Check 21 Act in October 2004, the country's banking system is now well on its way toward paperless check processing. And coming up right behind the banks are the merchants and manufacturers of "e-check" hardware, services, say merchants, for recognizing the cost savings and shorter check-out times the technology can afford them. The Basics But first, a primer. The Federal Reserve Board has

Last August 29, Brand Source members from around the country converged on Las Vegas for the annual Brand Source National Convention and Buy Fair. Held in the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino, the event gave members a chance to connect with the buying group's leadership, take part in a series of conferences and take advantage of the opportunity to meet with key vendors at the Buy Fair held in the hotel's ballroom. The event kicked off on Sunday with the dealer-supplier taste of Las Vegas, giving attendees and suppliers a chance to enjoy the city on their own. Monday's events began just after

Lifestyle buys and dropping prices are spurring a strong season for the appliance category By Mike Llewellyn It's been a solid summer for the appliance industry, according to research from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Increasing shipments to retailers are continuing an already strong year, with the only downer apparently a milder-than-usual summer cooling air conditioner sales. AHAM reports an 8.4-percent increase in June shipments in the core appliance category, which includes everything from the dishwasher to the washing machine. For the year, the category is up 8.7 percent, says the trade association. Depending on whom you ask, there are a variety of explanations for

TV Authority launched a Web-based company in 2000 selling CE in the most unpopular channel in the industry. It's been a wild ride. Right off the bat, Vice President Jason Palmer wants his customers (and vendors) to know that the story of TV Authority's success is not simply the story of an Internet start-up that somehow made it through the bubble-burst of 2001. It's not simply the story of three guys, barely out of college, taking a crack at the American dream. And it's not at all the story, he insists, of a Web-based reseller doing its best to move boxes as quickly

AutoWare Technologies lets customers run their rides through a virtual fashion show. By Mike Llewellyn "Most people that are selling 12-volt don't know a thing about selling custom wheels, tires and accessories." That's Matt Peters, sales manager for Florida-based Autoware Technologies, and he's not picking a fight—he's pointing out a major demand for accurate product information among mobile technology installers who are feeling increasing pressure to expand their operations beyond head units and nav systems. "There is a $1.2 billion market out there for custom wheels and tires," he continues, "and I think you'll find yourself quickly out of business if you just try to focus just on

More men are making appliance buying decisions and manufacturers are answering the demand with high-end products. By Mike Llewellyn The time was when the closest men got to cooking was over an outdoor fire. And the only dealers able to sell men on appliances were outfits like Nebraska-based Cabela's, which tackles a vertical market selling grills and turkey fryers side by side with guns and ammo. But times are changing, say both manufacturers and retailers, and they point to an increase in the number of male customers making the buying decisions for indoor appliances. It's by no means a revolution in the way people

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