Editor in chief of Dealerscope

With apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the very rich, apparently, aren’t that different from you and me. The Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) that has been compiled by Stevens, Pa.-based Unity Marketing since 2003 hit its lowest level in October after dropping 10.7 points to 40.3 points. According to Pam Danzinger, Unity Marketing’s president, the dip shows that “affluent consumers’ negative feelings about their economic situation are translating into changes into their shopping behavior. Since the middle of 2007, the LCI has been in free fall, dropping more than half its value.” Danzinger said the survey of 1,161 affluent consumers (with an average income

For the custom electronics and home automation suppliers at this year’s International Builders’ Show (IBS), held in mid-February, the soft housing market and the lag in recovery that is expected to occur well after the federal government’s economic stimulus package takes effect were all the more reason for them to have a presence on Orlando’s sprawling Orange County Convention Center floor. “This is our first IBS, and the reason we came,” explained Paradigm’s marketing manager, Mark Aling, “is to help set up home builder-installer contacts. Lots of home builders don’t know who to trust on the CI side. When you give that key over

Savvy installers and integrators are leveraging the communications bonanza that residential structured wiring provides. By Brian Ploskina&000;&000; For more than a decade, builders have contracted with integrators to wire homes with next-generation cabling capable of delivering high-speed internet, high-definition television, whole home audio and more. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), nearly one million homes were built with structured wiring inside them last year. But most of the structured cabling cans that hold the components for home entertainment and security are half-empty, says Mark Cerasuolo, director of brand development for Leviton Integrated Networking and Controls. In the basement, he says, you'll find "large

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