HES’s Ristow Lauds PRO Group Alliance: ‘It’s All About Size’
Touting the role of Brand Source’s Home Enterainment Source Expert Warehouse in helping the group to buck the industry’s downward business spiral, vice president for consumer electronics Jim Ristow told membership at a reception during the CEDIA Expo last night that the recently announced “industry-changing” synergistic buying alliance with the PRO Group was a way to “circle the wagons” and sustain and grow the group’s business in aggregate because, “it’s all about size.
“We’ve given vendors a clear path to build and sell step-up product profitable for you and them,” he said. He stressed that PRO would not have access to Expert Warehouse for day-to-day stocking, that privilege being reserved for HES members “Goods forecast for you stay in there just for you,” he assured his audience. He reiterated the numbers he proffered at last week’s Brand Source convention, saying the Warehouse’s dollar sales were up 57 percent year to date and their units were up almost 70 percent. “We’re growing like weeds,” he said, “but we need volume to take advantage of the buys that will be available.”
A pivotal strategy, Ristow added, will be to “make fewer vendors more important -- those vendors willing to invest in your business.” He said HES was always on the lookout for new product niches for expansion, such as the recent partnership with security and CCTV company Speco, and the Sunfire program.
A partnership soon to take effect with J.D. Power & Associates will allow members to avail themselves of that company’s shopping service, whereby J.D. Power will shop the member twice a month and then benchmark the results against others’.
Ristow also announced that a Q4 webinar discussion was on the calendar for September 18, and gave the 2009 Dallas Spring Summit dates as March 22 to 25. At that conference, he revealed PARA (the Professional AudioVideo Retailers Association now an arm of the CEA, would sponsor all the educational courses.