Best Buy Bombed by Wall Street as Word Comes Its Bonds May Get Rated ‘Junk’

<April 4, 2012> Best Buy Co. may be starting to feel a little like Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Best Buy LogoDangerfield as Wall Street reacted strongly to news today that Standard and Poor’s may drop the industry’s largest retailer’s bond rating to “junk” status. As word leaked out, Best Buy’s stock dropped 2.55%, more than twice the rate the overall Dow dropped. Continue reading

Nortek’s Losses Increased in 2011, But Company Says Q4 Results are Encouraging

Nortek's Headquarters<April 4, 2012> In financial results filed with the SEC at the end of last week, Nortek, Inc. said fiscal year 2011 (year ending December 31, 2011) saw a substantial sales increase of 12.7% from $1.899 billion in 2010 to $2.141 billion last year. However, the company reported that losses also increased from 2010’s $13.4 million to last year’s $55.9 million. Still, the company feels there’s cause for optimism as fourth quarter results improved substantially over the fourth quarter of 2010. Continue reading

New Group Azione Unlimited Continues Ramp-up with New Dealers & Vendors

Azione logo<March 28, 2012> Azione Unlimited, the new buying group targeted at the integration and custom retail channels announced Tuesday that it has added two “founding” dealer members who will both join the organization and serve on its advisory board. The organization followed this announcement up today with another hailing the addition of two new vendors bringing the total number of vendors supporting the group to just under thirty. Continue reading

University Offering Free Training to Those Who Will Start a Tech Company in Michigan

Kettering Seal<March 28, 2012> Kettering University is offering free training for technology entrepreneurs interested in starting tech companies in the State of Michigan. The training, called their TechWorks program, begins in April and runs through May. Continue reading

Gibson Guitar’s Weissburg Gives the ALERT a Status Update

Onkyo Logo<March 28, 2012> Earlier this month, the ALERT reported that ex-D&M President Bob Weissburg had joined Gibson Guitar as its global executive vice president. While Weissburg was said to have responsibilities over the entire organization, his focus is primarily on Gibson’s audio and pro businesses which are growing largely as the result of several acquisitions by the company, including Onkyo’s U.S. subsidiary, Onkyo USA. Continue reading

HTSA Announces New Member – Their 64th for the Group

<March 28, 2012> Home Technology Specialists of America, a national dealer buying group of integrators and custom retailers, announced today that Digitech Custom AV of Carmel, Indiana has joined the group as their 64th member dealer. According to HTSA, Digitech merged with another dealer in 2011 – Integrated Home Technologies – and has been in business for 23-years offering a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial solutions. Continue reading

Warning: Don’t Buy These Cat5E and USB 2.0 Patch Cables

UL Logo<March 28, 2012> Underwriters Laboratories (UL) issued a warning today that cables are being sold  fraudulently bearing the “UL Approved” seal even though they have not been tested as safe by the testing service. As a result, UL cannot guarantee their performance. Continue reading

Housing Market Data is Mixed – Why That Really is Good News

A house sits for sale in North Aurora, Illinois<March 21, 2012> An investment expert once told me that Wall Street is most dangerous when everyone agrees on the market’s direction – either up or down (bulls or bears in Wall Street parlance.) If everyone says the market is going up – then the market is likely a bubble headed towards a burst. If everyone says its going down, then we’re probably in a crash and hard times are ahead. No, it’s safest when investment and economic experts – and the underlying data they rely upon – is mixed…which is exactly where the housing market is right now. Continue reading

Skullcandy Turns to Eye Candy to Sell Headphones

Kate Upton<March 21, 2012> Expanding on the concept of what constitutes performance, Skullcandy announced today it was creating a new group of supermodel ambassadors, appropriately called their “Supermodel Crew,” starting with the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl Kate Upton. Consummating a multi-year deal with Upton, Skullcandy says it will have “all-access” to the Sports Illustrated “it girl.” Continue reading

Wal-Mart Gets Angry…Birds, That Is

<March 21, 2012> In a unique partnership, Rovio Entertainment, Ltd., creator of the popular Angry Birds game and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. are coming together to offer exclusive Angry Birds clothes, plush toys, and snacks that will include clues to a new version of the game launching later this week called Angry Birds Space. The partnership offers benefits to both Wal-Mart and Rovio…but mostly to those Wal-Mart customers who are Angry Birds fans as items sold in the store will include “Golden Eggsteroid” clues to unlock levels of the new game. Continue reading