Why LG Bypassed Specialty Retailers on OLED TV Launch
LG Electronics USA is bypassing the specialty CE channel to give Best Buy's Magnolia stores a jump on selling its new CURVED OLED 55-inch TVs. LG launched the set at the Magnolia Design Center in Best Buy's flagship Richfield, Minn., store on Monday.
While consumers can see and order the $14,999 OLED TV at the Richfield location, the sets won't begin shipping for a few weeks. Best Buy will roll out the TVs at Magnolia stores in nine cities - including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle and San Antonio - during the summer.
James Fishler, senior vice president marketing LG Electronics USA, said the OLED TVs will be available to specialty dealers "in a couple of months." He would not provide a specific timeframe or say which dealers would have access to the sets. The Magnolia stores, he said, are one of the best venues for LG to introduce its new TV technologies.
"It's hard for manufacturers to get credit for enhancements in picture quality," Fishler told Dealerscope before the unveiling of the CURVED OLED TV at the Richfield Best Buy. "That's why we decided to partner with Magnolia, because they have the staff that can help explain it and simply showcase it."
LG has no immediate plans to sell the CURVED OLED TVs online, mainly because of the assisted sales needed to properly introduce and sell the sets, Fishler said.
"There's no timeframe for when we'll be ready to expose it (online)," he said. "But again, that speaks to having someone who can explain the technology, and that can only be done in brick-and-mortar."
When asked why specialty dealers, who tout their trained sales floors and ability to explain new technologies to consumers, weren't included in the OLED launch, Fishler said Best Buy and Magnolia offered the most logical rollout path for the TVs.