HES Rolls Out Dealer E-Commerce Site, New Audio Lines, Lower Credit Rates
Home Entertainment Source (HES) has announced the addition of two new audio partners to its Expert Warehouse distribution center and the rollout of its long awaited transactional Web site for dealers.
Before making the announcements, Jim Ristow, HES executive vice president, said the business strategies the industry - dealers, buying groups, distributors and manufacturers - execute in the next 16 months will greatly shape the future of retail consumer electronics.
Some of the trends that will shape and impact dealer businesses during that period include:
- A decrease in the sales price of high-end flat-panel TVs (46-inch 240Hz LEDs) to between $2099 and $2,799
- Lower product margins
- A need to increase online sales
- Manufacturers increasing their reliance on independent dealers, especially to sell higher-end products
- Tighter inventory
- The need for dealers to increase product turns to 10 to 12 times a year from three to four.
"For the first time, I'd argue that the manufacturers really need us," Ristow said, referring in part to the demise of Circuit City and Tweeter and the buying power of the group, which racked up close to $4 billion in combined sales last year.
Ristow and Bob Lawrence, CEO of BrandSource, said the new transactional Web site, scheduled for release during the next two weeks, is one of the most important announcements at this week's summit in Dallas, which was attended by roughly 600 HES members and a total of 3,000 BrandSource members.
The Web site was announced about two years ago, but was delayed for several undisclosed reasons. BrandSource will manage the back-end of the new system. Dealers can co-brand the site and access any product they're authorized for through HES' Expert Warehouse. Pricing for the system will be tiered, starting with a free basic service and scaling up to a few hundred dollars a month for more robust versions, Ristow said.