HES Board Evaluates Shifting Market Conditions
The Home Entertainment Source (HES) buying group reported on its board of directors meeting, held earlier this month in Minneapolis. The two-day meeting, which included HES President Bob Cole, HES General Manager Jim Ristow and five regional managers, found board and staff members reviewing and analyzing the group’s business plan “to ensure the group was working toward meeting the long-term goals which the board had previously established through the year 2010,” said HES in a release.
“While many of the market assumptions initially established remain true, there is no doubt that the market has become more dynamic and volatile than expected,” said Ristow. “Outside of Best Buy and the independent retailer, many are struggling to remain profitable in CE. Additionally, many of the business models in the vendor community have changed dramatically over the past two years, with many video manufacturers de-emphasizing a direct relationship with the smaller independent retailer. This is where HES has been able to carve out a unique niche as the best alternative to a ‘national retailer’ to the vendor community. No other group is in a position to forecast out their business, write the purchase order, offer one billing account, and three ship-to locations. This not only allows us to efficiently plan out our scheduled business but also puts us in a position where we can take advantage of spot buys, putting our members in a position of strength in their local markets. This positioning allows them to effectively compete against other independents and national retailers.”
Video, said HES, has shifted “from an allocation position to an over-inventory situation,” said HES; as a result, it said, the biggest challenge independent dealers now face is “knowing which technology, brands and models to focus on.” Because of this, HES said, its “group-to-member relationship has morphed into a consultative role.” Backing this communication initiative are HES’ five regional managers, who conduct in-field visits; Ristow estimated they have conducted over 250 store visits since last summer, with plans to surpass that number this year. “Delivering information directly to our members in a clear, concise manner will be what really sets us apart from competing suppliers and makes Home Entertainment Source the premier CE Specialty Organization,” said Ristow.