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Photography by Eric Williams


What is your CES strategy?

A There are many different faces of CES. We have many meetings with

our vendors about where they are going with their product and what
they are doing with their channel strategy and where they want to
target businesses. At times we will see mock-ups of what they are going to introduce
in the spring. It is a great way for us to see what is going to happen in the first half of the
year and some new concepts that will be worked on going forward into the next holiday
season. It opens our eyes to what is fresh. You go to Eureka Park to see the startups
because it's one great place to see everything that is new. Outside of that, CES is an
incredible networking opportunity. I don't have to fly across the country because we
can all get together for a cup of coffee or a formal discussion. It's a great place to see a
community of people that you can work with.

Q What is your business model?
A If you look at the model in distribution,

there are two mindsets. One is to have availability and a price for people that are not
buying either direct from manufacturers
or they need to supplement what they buy
from the manufacturer. In our case, we are
a little different. We look at distribution as
an extension of the manufacturer, so we go
in with roadmaps and presentations about
which direction the retailer is going and
build individual forecasts by customer. We
look at what our customers need unless it's
a small customer where we just keep safety
inventory for them. Overall, we look at the
customer base and plan out their business
model based on a true retail calendar and
then build it out. Today, it's about having a
good supply when you need it.

Q How does New Age differentiate itself?
A In many ways, but one thing we have is

a program called "build a box." When you
think about what a consumer looks for when
they make a purchase, we look at it in a different way than a normal distributor would.
We look at who the end user is because we
are servicing a retail store and their customers. Then we build different offerings to
enable a retailer to come up with a solution
that is not just the product itself but what
enables people to have a good experience when they open up that product. For
example, does it have the accessories they
need to get a great experience?
If you look at the transformation of
homes, there are many different controls,
so we work with our retailers to build a solution right out of the box. You don't want a
C TA . t e c h / i 3

customer frustrated when they get home
and a product won't work. We want them
to be able to adjust their lighting, watch
a movie on TV and just say "lower or raise
the lights or music" to do so. We work with
the vendors and the retailer to find the best
solution. In many cases we build shippers
bundles that are a complete solution placed
on the retail floor. When a customer comes
in to shop for a product, the other items
that might be necessary are on that same
shipper. We are building that bundle to bring
better value for the retailer and a better
retail experience for the shopper.

Q Where do you see new opportunities?
A The convergence of goods coming

together. So, if you said, "I am leaving my
house today, what is more important - my
watch or my phone?" Everybody would
say their phone. Because that device is
always with you and lets you bring your
music, video and other things with you, and
people want solutions for that. If I am going
to enjoy music, I'm going to want earbuds
or headphones to go along with it. It's an
enabler for someone to say with the power
of what I have in my hand, whether a phone,
tablet or PC, I can control everything that I
enjoy for business, entertainment, lifestyle
and information. We are trying to take that
ecosystem as a bridge where all of the products are starting to interconnect, including
smart car features like starting the car, to
garage door openers and sensors that make
your lights come on as you approach your
driveway. It's all interconnecting. Our goal
is to look at what is the best in class product
that gives the best experience and offer



i3 - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - July/August 2019

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