A Developing Divergence

September 18, 2014
U.S. households finally appear to be recovering from the recession. After dipping during the recession, average annual income and average annual expenditures are now above 2008 levels. But beneath a promising surface, average annual income and spending have significant implications for consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers and retailers.We know that average household incomes are not actually even distributions across all households. The top quintile—or top 20 percent—of household incomes represents about 50 percent of total U.S. household income while the bottom quintile is roughly just three percent, and the bottom two quintiles are only 11.5 percent. The difference between...

Cents or Nonsense?

September 05, 2014
We are fortunate to be time traveling through this creative gale of global innovative risk takers shaking up our senses through a multitude of glowing glass pylons in different flavors, sizes and shapes. Our robust electronics business climate—polarized by fresh competitive technology enhancements—fuels the great digital divide, creating nail biting losses for some, while ensuring wealthy success stories for others. Welcome to the world of cents and nonsense where consumers cannot resist another piece of glowing, cloud-connected glass at the right price and place, with the right...

2014 CE Hall of Fame: C.W. Conn

September 03, 2014
(1930-2004) President and Chairman of the Board, Conn’sWhen C.W. Conn took over the reins from his father of their eponymous Texas-based appliance stores, Conn’s had four stores and $4 million in sales volume. Under Conn’s leadership, and despite the growth of national big box competitors, Conn’s grew exponentially; at its peak, the regional chain consisted of more than five dozen stores in five states generating nearly $500 million in annual sales revenue.   The business that became Conn’s was a Beaumont, Texas, plumbing and heating company founded in 1890. Early in the Depression, the business failed and it was taken over by a local bank. It was...

Jack Wayman (1922-2014)

September 02, 2014

Digital Interactivity in Publications

August 28, 2014
By Denny WhiteThe magazine publishing industry has had more innovation and change in the last ten years than in the previous 100 years. Driving this change has been the threat and opportunity offered by the Internet. As more eyeballs and advertising transition to the digital landscape, the traditional magazine print business model has been disrupted. Many magazines with a digital edition use formats that largely replicate a print edition, however, some enhanced digital editions, use the full creative power of the Internet to produce an immersive, personal experience for a reader that is different from print. Last year, the American Society of Business Publication Editors chose the...

RadioShack's New Look

August 13, 2014
RadioShack’s newly remodeled stores just opened in the Washington, D.C. area, starting with the Chinatown location, which is one of 23 new interactive stores in the area. The new look immerses the shopper in an interactive experience and offers new features such as “Fix It Here!” mobile device repair and revamped sections. When I entered the Chinatown RadioShack, the first thing that caught my eye was the bright, white Fix It Here! station in the front corner of the store. RadioShack’s new Fix It Here! mobile device repair service offers same-day, or faster, repairs to customers. This service provided by RadioShack is perfect for a quick drop off during a lunch...

Hoop Dreams - The Future of Basketball is Here

August 05, 2014
While most fitness devices put sensors on the athlete, InfoMotion decided to put one in a basketball. To reap the benefits of the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball, players simply need to download a free app, activate the ball on a wireless charging pad and dribble to connect it to a smartphone or tablet. “The primary benefit that we have shown repeatedly is that athletes of any age, when presented with objective, instant and actionable feedback, become engaged in the progress and motivated to try something again,” says Mike Crowley, founder and CEO of InfoMotion Sports Technologies in Dublin, Ohio...

7 Things That Worry Me About The Economy

August 04, 2014
After an extremely difficult start to 2014, my economic projections call for marked improvement for the second half of the year. However, here are the things that worry me the most. Economic growth expanded at 3.3 percent during the last six months of 2013. The economy then proceeded to decline by more than one percentage point on a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter of this year. Many economists dismissed this decline—chalking it up to weather. Certainly weather contributed to the weak start of the year. This past winter was the coldest since 1994 and much of the country was severely impacted. I spent considerable time in the first half of the year...

Sources for New Content

July 30, 2014
Consumers have numerous choices when it comes to video content sources, from cable, satellite and fiber to Internet streaming services and Blu-ray Discs. thanks to smartphones, tablets, video game consoles and Internet-connected HDTVs, viewers also have a wealth of options when it comes to which device they want to view their content on. CEA’s Video Content and Discovery and Purchasing Trends study examines consumers’ motivations and preferences in today’s shifting landscape of video content choices.   Related: Over-The-Top and Keeping the Cord
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