Warren Mann

New Leaf Service Contracts, LLC said last week that it has added three new hires. Mike Tierney and Warren Mann have joined the company as directors of sales and marketing, as well as  Lance Partridge as regional sales manager.

Industry veteran Warren Mann has been named director of sales for manufacturer SOUL Electronics, the company best known for its line of products featuring actor/rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges.

FEBRUARY Hueberger Leaves PRO, Workman Moves in PRO Group President/COO/Executive Director Roger Hueberger announces that he will be leaving the buying group after serving for 11 years. According to the PRO Group and Hueberger, a failure to come to agreeable terms on a new contract was cited as the reason for his departure. “I loved my 11 years at PRO, but both parties couldn’t agree on terms,” says Hueberger, noting that talks over his contract have been rocky for several months. “This wasn’t a big surprise; this started last summer.” Hueberger was made director of PRO Group in 1994, and in 1996 was

Hueberger Leaves PRO, Workman Moves in PRO Group President/COO/Executive Director Roger Hueberger announces that he will be leaving the buying group after serving for 11 years. According to the PRO Group and Hueberger, a failure to come to agreeable terms on a new contract was cited as the reason for his departure. “I loved my 11 years at PRO, but both parties couldn’t agree on terms,” says Hueberger, noting that talks over his contract have been rocky for several months. “This wasn’t a big surprise; this started last summer.” Hueberger was made director of PRO Group in 1994, and in 1996 was promoted to chief operating officer.

Manufacturers selling direct to consumers remains a bitter pill for retail to swallow. By Janet Pinkerton At what point does a manufacturer selling direct to consumers become less of a partner and more of a competitor? A significant segment of a/v manufacturers is selling direct—and in many cases expanding those direct sales efforts, complete with installation service—balancing their efforts with the interests and activities of their retail channels. However, Dealerscope interviews with retailers and buying group leaders found specific complaints about manufacturers' direct sales and a collective gut feeling that it's not right for a vendor partner to actively sell the same product to

For a long time, buying groups have been the champions of the independent, proving the theory of strength in numbers and creating the buying power of one through a collective. Their presence has been essential to independents, helping to stave off the omnipresent national big-box CE retailers. Their insights, then, can be invaluable indicators of what is happening on the forefront of small-scale retail. Most groups agree that sales growth in 2004 was proof that the slow but stable economic recovery that began in 2003 was no joke, and they are optimistic about 2005. But, as is always the case in retail, there's no

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