HES, ProSource Finalize Merger
At the 2014 Summit & Expo convention in Orlando Monday, Brand Source’s Home Entertainment Source (HES) division and ProSource, which includes members of both HES and PRO Group, announced their merger as an entity with its own corporate status as ProSource under the Brand Source umbrella.
Dave Workman and Jim Ristow will both hold the title of ProSource co-president, with Workman also named COO and Ristow, CBO.
ProSource’s structure for its approximately 500 members, who currently register a combined $3 billion in sales, will be triple-segmented, Workman said. The Pro segment, now at 15 dealers with a goal to increase the number to 20 to 25 dealers, consists of members doing $10 million or greater in qualified sales, and includes retail and e-tail promotional specialists. Members at the CI Power level, now at 66 dealers with a goal of increasing to 75 to 100 members, earn $4 million or greater in sales, with most being larger integrators with custom showrooms who also have a retail presence. The CI level, currently at 400-plus dealers who clock $1 million or more in annual sales, includes the top 20 percent of CEDIA members; the goal is to build that number to 500-plus. Workman said that level determination is based on volume but that that is not the only criterion; also factoring into it is the lines they support. A membership committee ultimately decides admission, he said.
The merger will effectively leverage the combined membership’s core competencies which “revolve around custom, control and integration,” Workman said. “We combine the best of integration retail and e-tail, but we’re not abandoning our legacies and rich histories.”
Ristow said 2013’s economic atmosphere, so unfavorable in Q4 last year to the CE industry as a whole, with flat retail sales and a bifurcated TV market defined by low-priced and high-end model sales, did not characterize the ProSource segment. He said the CI business is healthy by contrast, with growing consumer interest in wireless multi-room, as evidenced by the success of Sonos, and with home automation price-points now entering the mainstream with companies like Savant, Control4 and URC gunning for entry-level business at $1,000 to $1,500 “magic price-points” that get members’ feet in the home and prime those clients for add-on sales at a later time.