Based in Missoula, Montana, Vann’s Inc. has been a shining star of the retail business – for years a hearty player in a rugged part of the country where only the strong survive. Founded in 1961 by Pete Vann, the company has steadily grown over the years – adding locations, diversifying retail formats, and even expanding into online sales. But signs of stress began to emerge this year with the company closing one location in February, then replacing long-time CEO George Manlove in June with a CEO from outside the company, losing the support of a key lender in July, and finally declaring bankruptcy just a little over one week ago.
This week at D+M Group’s press presentation, the company focused on two major new product categories that appear to be targeted areas of growth for the company. After a general presentation with overview, the company broke up the rather large group of reporters into two sections: Group A, my group, went directly to a special display of docking products…or complete music systems with an iPod/iPad/iPhone dock. Group B went to headphones (see my report on Denon’s new headphone line here).
Even by late-May’s standards, it was an unusually hot and humid day this week as a major contingent of the tech press gathered up in Mahwah, New Jersey at the weirdest looking Sheraton you’ve ever seen – more rocket ship than hotel. We were summoned to a press presentation by D&M Holdings that promised to be more significant than those in the past. Little did we know that the heat of the day was presaging the hot presentation that was the subject of our gathering!
At a major press event in New Jersey Tuesday, Denon announced a new company name, a new logo, newly restructured operations…and an imperative to create new products and expand into new markets. Technically, Denon has been in the headphone business for a while. But as part of a new more aggressive marketing strategy – the company has launched an all-new line of headphones designed for specific and tightly defined consumer segments. But wait…as infomercials and headphone product manager Petro Shimonishi liked to say…there’s more.
Audio Associates Corp. launched its “Alliance Expo 2012” Dealer Show Tuesday at the Doubletree Hotel in Newark, New Jersey. Attendees braved gray, rainy, sticky, humid weather…and a resulting variety of roadway-clogging traffic accidents…to travel from all around the New York Metro area and the Mid-Atlantic to see product displays from 23 manufacturers representing top brands in the specialty A/V business. [Read more…] about Alliance Expo 2012 Draws Large Dealer Attendance
At this week’s Alliance Expo 2012 in Newark, NJ, we sat down with event promoter Audio Associates’ CEO Ron Meyerowitz to get his take on the event…and on trends in the industry. The dealer show, held annually by the well-known New York Metro-area sales representative firm, appeared to be quite successful at a time when many in the industry find business sluggish. We wanted to know – why was this year their biggest show ever…and what is the secret of their success?
<May 16, 2012> New York manufacturers representative firm Audio Associates tells me that they are ready-to-go for their huge dealer show called “Alliance Expo 2012 – Partnering for a Stronger Tomorrow” scheduled for next week and originally announced in the ALERT last month. Launching this coming Tuesday, May 22nd and wrapping up Wednesday, the company says they are pulling out all of the stops for another mega-event, taking place this year at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel in Newark, NJ. [Read more…] about New York’s Huge ‘Alliance Expo’ Dealer Show is Next Week
<April 25, 2012> Denon Electronics, part of D&M Holdings, Inc. announced today the launch of a new 2012 “core” receiver line-up. The new 2012 line-up includes four receivers that the company says are available now and include some popular features such as Apple’s AirPlay, expanded access to content, and flexible connectivity capability. [Read more…] about Denon Launches New ‘Core’ Receivers
>>NOTE: UPDATED MARCH 9TH – SEE BOX BELOW<<
<March 7, 2012> Last week, Stratecon’s BEACON broke the news about a major overhaul and consolidation of D&M Holdings’ sales representative and distributor network. Later that day, D&M confirmed our initial report, releasing a statement spelling out the substantive, albeit generally described, changes to their sales network. Now the ALERT has discovered that not all of D&M’s rep territories were merged – in select markets, separate sales rep forces are being maintained. [Read more…] about Select D&M Sales Rep Territories Remain Brand Specific
<February 29, 2012> Multiple sources are telling the BEACON that D&M Holdings has consolidated their sales representative network, unifying their Denon, Boston Acoustics, and Marantz brands under one representative firm in each territory. Prior to this move, each territory had a Denon/Boston Acoustics representative, and a Marantz representative. So this move effectively cuts their force in half. [Read more…] about D&M Consolidates Sales Force; Some Long-Time Reps Lose Key Lines