LG Gets EzSign TV On Shelves At Fry’s, But Will It Sell?
July 24, 2012 by Dave Haynes
LG is taking a crack at trying to sell a bundled solution out of retail, aimed presumably at the small business crowd that doesn’t know much beyond the basic “want” of a screen running stuff in their venues.
The question is whether that crowd – which will tend to be driven by price and oblivious to the whole consumer/professional display argument – will walk in and pay any kind of premium. There is also the question of whether they will know what they are looking for, and if the staff will know what to show them and how to sell it.
The companies that try to sell through the pro AV “channel” face enormous challenges trying to get their pots and pans sold effectively, so dropping down to a big box that caters to the gadget crowd is something way less than a slam dunk.
LG, among others, has tried selling through online e-tailers like CDW, and one look through the digital signage pages will tell you selling a platform or bundle in an sales environment built for USB cables and network switches is tough.
In this case, LG hopes to move units of its LG EzSign TVs in the 34 or so Fry’s retail stores in the US, plus online.
A turnkey digital signage solution for small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs), EzSign TV offers high-quality picture and contrast ratios combined with customizable content running simultaneously with live TV or another external media source, attracting attention while delivering messaging to consumers.
Now available for purchase in all 34 Fry’s retail locations and online, the 32-, 42- and 47-inch class sizes (31.5-, 42.0-, 47.0-inch diagonal, respectively) of the EzSign LD452B LCD TV series include an internal media player, complete software package with custom signage templates and commercial-grade display settings to optimize power savings and product lifespan.
Fry’s Electronics is the first retail outlet to both sell and display the commercial EzSign TV product in-store, providing the opportunity for small business owners to learn more about the product and “test drive” it in a retail setting.
First introduced in 2011, EzSign TV has grown in popularity and expanded sales channels to include Direct Market Retailers (DMRs), IT integrators, professional/custom A/V dealers and installers and digital signage resellers.
“Given the increase in ‘Do-It-Yourself’ small business owners turning to traditional electronics retailers for business solutions, teaming up with Fry’s to reach this customer segment was a natural fit for LG and a turnkey commercial product like EzSign TV,” said Rick Calacci, vice president of regional sales, LG Electronics USA. “Progressive home electronics retailers like Fry’s are expanding both in-store and online inventory to include the latest small business solutions, and LG sees this as a trend that will continue as the ‘D-I-Y’ small business segment matures.”
LG says unit shipments of EzSign TV have nearly doubled this year. There is definitely a market for the simpleton, USB key kind of system offered up by LG here. But finding a way to effectively sell it is a big challenge. I know LG barely moved any units when it put a bundle into CDW and some other online retail channels, so it will be interesting to see what shakes out here, and if LG talks about results in a few months.
The company already markets the product through Ingram Micro, which is another case of trying to sell a solution in an environment built for things.