Your Vision For 2010
With the recession officially ‘over,’ we asked manufacturers, buying groups, distributors and others: Is it time to let the champagne corks fly?December 2009 By Interviews by Maureen Jenson
CustomRetailer asked manufacturers, distributors, buying groups and others:
"The recession is supposed to be over, but what does this mean in reality for you and your company going into 2010? As briefly as possible, what is the vision for your company in the coming year?"
The response was far too great to publish in one issue of CustomRetailer, so we will appropriately follow up with Part II in the January 2010 CES Issue.
Vice President Sales and Marketing
The recession may be over, but we anticipate a very slow recovery in retail sales. Fortunately, our dealer base (independent audio/video specialists, storefronts, custom-only and hybrids) has been amazingly resilient in this tough economy, so we will focus our energies on continuing to be a key full-line loudspeaker and electronics supplier for this market.
Paradigm's success has been focused on performance AND value in our products—value products have consistently withstood the test of tough economic times. Our vision is to provide the specialty dealer market with even more unique "not available everywhere," profitable, dependable, highest-performance and highest-value products in the categories that are important to today's A/V specialists and custom installers.
Executive Director, Specialty Electronics Nationwide
A Division of the Nationwide Marketing Group
The retail landscape shifted, and the days of clerking flat-panel TVs have come to an end. Successful CE dealers have long been chameleons, and this year presents another opportunity to reinvent your company. The integration of green technologies and the advent of the smart home is a wave that savvy CE dealers will ride for a very long time. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with all IP-based technologies and the numerous home automation solutions.
I feel very fortunate to be affiliated with Nationwide Marketing Group, the largest appliance buying group in the country. Back in October 2009, Whirlpool was given a $19 million stimulus fund grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate their work on smart-grid appliances. Whirlpool has pledged that in 2011 they will deliver their first million U.S.-made smart dryers. The opportunity for CE dealers to integrate these burgeoning technologies into the home represents our collective future.
Vice President of Sales
Get Ready for the Recovery!
Now is the time to take advantage and invest in the latest products that set themselves apart from all the famous "Box Stores" that don't have technical expertise and the integration experience that you do!
Vutec® provides a good-better-best option for theater and multimedia rooms to fit a wide budget-minded audience.
It's all about the presentation!
Vutec® and Vision X® award-winning projection screens and masking systems provide solutions for any budget. Our Vision X® program offers the best margins and the most aggressive showroom demonstration programs so you can invest with confidence and display a true "Theater Experience."
Vutec® and Vision X® represent every screen option for your showroom, providing that dynamic theater experience. Our mission is to assist all of our home theater integrators to become better business partners. From our award-winning SilverStar™ in fixed and masking screen options, to our DYNA-Curve™ multi-aspect masking screen, Vutec® and Vision X® will fortify your showroom with the most up-to-date formats and screen technology choices available.
There is much more riding on your presentation: www.vutec.com
While fundamental indicators reflect that the recession appears to be over, no one will refute that we are still experiencing challenging times. In spite of this, there has been some light this quarter, and it certainly isn't an oncoming freight train.
There is a core group of integrators and retailers that are thinking out of the box and getting very creative in their business and selling practices. Whether you call it guerrilla warfare or targeted marketing, those accounts are experiencing some relatively positive results.
Meridian has been very active during the course of this year. We've been conducting road shows throughout the country doing dealer sales and product trainings, local dealer events, charitable events, and cross-promotional events with third-party companies and organizations. Bottom line, our overall year-to-date business is up 16 percent and we're expecting very positive growth in 2010.
Director of Sales
North America Consumer Products
Stewart Filmscreen Corp.
This past year has certainly impacted our industry and has made us all appreciate our business partners even more. Because of these incredible relationships, we did better than planned for 2009. To build upon this experience, we plan to improve communication and education with our business partners and make sure they are aware of the many possibilities Stewart Filmscreen can fulfill within the residence. With our expanded product line, we have a solution for every room, including dedicated home cinemas, multi-purpose rooms, family rooms, dens, game rooms and even the outdoors.
Other opportunities Stewart offers are electric solar, blackout and acoustic shades along with accent lighting RGB LEDs that can be very profitable for our dealers. Our goal for 2010 is to help our business partners maximize each sale for every client. We think the total number of consumer contacts is going to grow, but at a slower rate.
We are extremely positive about our collective future and we will continue to support our business partners to make sure we all have a positive year.
The future outlook for SIM2 is very positive despite the recent, not yet fully recovered, economic crisis.
Among the many dramatic tribulations the recession has created, we believe that there is one positive result: many consumers changed their attitudes about choosing what products to buy.
There is an entire category of consumers that still like premium products and services. But now, more than ever, they are yet more careful with their purchases. Consumers want good reasons to justify the price of a premium product; they look for the core value of it—often the value of a company's R&D efforts behind a new product. This consumer position is very consistent with SIM2's strategy and history. We have always invested our company resources in designing and manufacturing our own projectors with the clear goal to set new standards in performance and innovation, while offering the latest features and cutting-edge technologies.
This will continue to be the ultimate SIM2 objective as we enter 2010 thus making for a brighter future for SIM2 and its partners!
Vice President of Marketing
As we enter the New Year, DSI will continue to add real value to our relationships with independent retailers. Our strong product assortment and warehouse coverage across the country allow dealers to invest in marketing and showrooms and use DSI as their warehouse. We are aggressively developing marketing and selling programs that will help our dealers position themselves as the local experts in their marketplaces. DSI will also continue to build on our recent expansion of custom installation products and our service assortment to provide retailers across the country with what they need to be successful. We are positioned to help our dealers make the most of the economic recovery.
Pinnacle is celebrating our 33rd anniversary so we've experienced and navigated through three to four recessions. This one in my view has been the most difficult, mostly because of the credit restrictions placed on medium, small business and consumers alike. My view is that the recession will really be over when the banks decide to start lending again and not just sit on their TARP funds. That is likely to happen as the stronger banks start lending and the weaker ones have no choice but to get back in the market, or lose all market share to their stronger competitors. What does that mean for Pinnacle and our industry?
What this recession has done is make people pretty fed up with the big impersonal "greedy Stock Exchange"-type company. That is a big benefit for us. Dealers and consumers really want to support companies that offer great products, great service and have real people to deal with. So, Pinnacle is growing and we expect continued growth in 2010 because of our unique story. It really all comes down to the basics, work hard, take nothing for granted, treat every customer as you would want to be treated, make sure your people excel, and above all, have something worthwhile to sell. Thirty-three years in the speaker business confirms Pinnacle is doing just that.
Through tough economic times, CWR Electronics continues to provide dealers with the lowest pricing and widest selection in wholesale marine electronics. By keeping expenses low, CWR is able to stay within budget and continue to provide customers with accurate, attentive service.
With the economy hopefully taking a turn for the better in 2010, CWR's current focus is to be more efficient to sustain profitability in the New Year. A newly implemented shipping system will increase productivity twofold. Dealers can help fuel their own success by relying on CWR to stock their products and drop ship to their customers all over the world. By signing on to CWR's interactive Web site, dealers can view live inventory, check product images and descriptions, and track their packages in transit. The recession will soon be fading, and CWR Electronics will still be standing as the leading consumer electronics distributor in the wholesale marine electronics industry.
NAD Electronics and PSB Speakers
The next months are critical in the specialty end of our industry. The economic crisis, along with destructive retail and brand consolidations, have exacted a heavy toll.
Through the recession we actively increased investment in our NAD Electronics and PSB products. Bjorn Erik Edvardsen of NAD and Paul Barton of PSB are special designers who remain at the helm of our development teams. NAD and PSB will hit the upturn with their strongest products in almost 40 years of faithful design. Specialty dealers, searching for something unique and different are taking notice.
Our plans for 2010 run counter to what we see in the industry. At a time when dealers need "differentiation," our competitors seem to have "commoditized" their brands. At Lenbrook, our strategy involves fewer but more committed dealer partners who realize that in a time when "value is the new cool," NAD and PSB are the "coolest" brands out there!
President & CEO
As we emerge from the slowdown, businesses and consumers are entering a phase of 'responsible optimism' in their spending habits. New purchases will be for things that make people feel safer, more comfortable, or more in control of their lives. For Cernium and our Archerfish family of smart video monitoring products, it means an opportunity to meet these customers' needs and grow our business significantly in 2010. CR