Monday, January 01, 2001

Home connectivity issue tops retail agenda in 2001

At the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA), held concurrently with Parks Associates' Forum 2000 in San Francisco last October, retailers, product manufacturers, technology innovators, and service providers joined together to present their visions of this nearing future and discuss both the opportunities and barriers in its adoption.

....Sears joined the Internet Home Alliance (IHA), a group that was established on Oct. 17, 2000 — the first day of the Parks Associates Forum 2000. The IHA is a consortium of product manufacturers, service providers, technology companies and retailers that includes Sears, CompUSA and Best Buy. The goal of the alliance is to conduct consumer research to better develop the market, as well as help clear up consumer confusion about the pending "Internet lifestyle"....

Products are making their way to retailers' shelves. According to Parks Associates, a new report released last November shows that 35% of home networking components are shipping through bricks-and-mortar retail channels. "As more products enabling enhanced connectivity and Internet services begin to roll out, the activity in the retail space will increase accordingly," said Nikki Robison, a home networks analyst for Parks Associates. "Already we are seeing plans for interactive kiosks and in-store product demonstrations to display the benefits of a connected lifestyle."

The report credits partnership programs like the IHA with strengthening relationships between networking manufacturers and retailers, subsequently spurring consumer adoption rates.

From the article "Home connectivity issue tops retail agenda in 2001," by Laura Heller.


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