In an effort to help members remain competitive in a tough market and garner higher returns on sales, executives from the Home Entertainment Source (HES) and PRO Group Alliance traveled to Asia last month to meet with senior executives at video suppliers including LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba.
The week-long visit was hosted by BrandSource CEO, Bob Lawrence, executive vice president of HES, Jim Ristow, and executive director/COO of PRO Group, Dave Workman.
Executives from the Home Entertainment Source (HES) and PRO Group Alliance meeting with Samsung
They were joined by HES and PRO Group members Bob Cole of World Wide Stereo, Rob Standley of Vann's, Al Walters of Stereo Advantage, Scott Anderson of Crutchfield, and Murray Huppin of Huppin's/OneCall.
The objective was to help the Alliance develop a better understanding of each manufacturing partner's global strategies and gain knowledge of their plans for the U.S. market.
In face-to-face meetings, the manufacturers presented short- and long-term opportunities to the Alliance that will help members attract the profitable upscale market.
Dave Workman of PRO Group commented, "The joint meetings with our top video suppliers in Japan and Korea were extremely productive and will help us increase our presence in the premium market, which is critical in order for our members to stay competitive."
"Collectively, the Alliance represents the largest national alternative to the more commodity-driven mass-market segments of the business for manufacturers to increase their premium sales. We left Asia with a very positive sentiment towards some exciting and compelling technologies, such as IPTV and 3D, that are perfectly suited to grow through our channel of retail in 2010," he concluded.
The impact of commodity-driven mass-market challenges was a key topic of discussion during the visit.
"With commoditization, neither suppliers nor retailers can be profitable," HES' Jim Ristow said. "We really need each other to weather the current economic storm and focus on the future. The Alliance is committed to giving our vendor partners a clear channel to help them design, build and increase profits."