Retailers Share Products/Strategies That Drive Profit

Retailers Share Products/Strategies That Drive Profit


Picture Business sister publication Dealerscope recently spoke with several regional, independent CE retailers as part of a roundtable discussion at CES to gauge which products and technologies generated the most profit last year and what ideas and practices are working at retail today.

As is always the case, the event generated some lively discussion and some interesting conclusions were drawn. Andy Kersey of Hamlin & Kersey had a particularly interesting take with his “connecting-the-dots” analogy – one that certainly fits well within the imaging retail world, as the convergence of many CE and imaging products and services continues to evolve for consumers. While Kersey’s comments center on the HDTV market, the message at its core should resonate well with imaging retailers as well.

“I look at the ongoing HDTV transition as a tool that we’re going to use to help our core group of customers – through education and advisory skills – with the different products we have in our store. It will help to connect the dots of home systems versus the old days of home entertainment,” Kersey began. “It’s a mindset change for us and how we approach our customers. We look at HDTV as a gateway for the type of customer who walks in our door. Is every customer going to be that customer? No. But if you don’t expose them to what can be, they can’t broaden their minds and their family lifestyles to utilize these products in a connect-the-dots way.”

He added, “The independent channel has the skills that connect and converge the dots, but the biggest thing we have to pay attention to if we want to be profitable is human skills. That’s what the corporate stores can’t do. You have to create a sales culture driven by knowledge and professionalism, and have implementation skills so that when those customers walk in and are looking at that HDT, I want to expose them in our theater room to how we can distribute HDTV, audio, light dimming; how you can be at work and check on functions in the home like heat and air conditioning, and how it can all be tied together. We’re expanding in the commercial installation arena as well – restaurants, training rooms, factories. I’m dedicating a few marketing dollars to go after that segment.”