CLOCK RADIOS GET COMPANY AS MORE FEATURES ADDED TO PRODUCTS.
NEW YORK-The clock radio sections at consumer electronics retailers and mass merchandisers look a little different these days, as the category is being invaded by multifunctional units featuring CD players and telephones.
A spokesman for Circuit City acknowledged the growing trend in multifunction in this once single-function category. "Circuit City has roughly 30 different tabletop electronics products with the clock radio functionality built in, including mini home theater systems, CD players and cordless phones," he said. He added that some of the popular brands in the category include The Sharper Image, GE, Timex and Sony.
As the clock radio category is divided into many subcategories with the spread of multifunctionality, retailers like Circuit City are faced with the question of how to merchandise these different categories.
"At what point does a clock radio deserve to be in the home theater area of the store?" the spokesman asked. He explained that Circuit City places its CD player/clock radio combination units in the small audio sections and the clock radio/cordless phone combination units may be found in the cordless phone section, while the licensed Disney clock radios occupy their own specific section, as do Sharper Image-branded clock radios.
Conair Consumer Electronics recently launched two combination clock radio units. The CID-502, which shipped to retailers for Father's Day, combines a CD player, clock radio and corded phone featuring a caller identification function. The other Father's Day launch: a retro-style combination corded phone/clock radio, the TC-300. Conair has also launched three new integrated cordless phone/clock radios this year, highlighted by the May debut of its GH3065, the company's first cordless phone/CD player/clock radio, according to Les Burger, marketing manager at Conair. The $119 integrated unit features stereo sound, speaker phone, caller identification and call waiting.
"Consumers are seeking to decrease space occupied by their tabletop electronics. Most people have a phone, clock and CD player by the bedside. The integrated units take up limited room," the Conair product manager said.
RCA, a longtime player in clock radios, has also shifted its focus toward integrated units. One of its most recent introductions: the RP3765 combination digital AM/FM CD clock radio. This unit, to hit retail in late August, features a weatherband and television tuner and boasts a "high performance" dual speaker system.
"The CD player is becoming a very popular option for clock radios, as well as digital tuning and high performance speakers, as clock radios are finding their way into other rooms of the home," said a spokeswoman for RCA.
A spokeswoman for Best Buy noted that in addition to a trend toward multifunction in this category, there has been a move toward high-end audio. She pointed to Boston Acoustics models and Bose models (not sold at Best Buy). Best Buy is currently selling a $159.99 Boston Acoustics Recepter Digital AM/FM dual alarm clock radio.
A Sharper Image spokeswoman said that integrated clocks with CD players are in higher demand from their customers than the standard alarm clock. Sharper Image has placed the exotic SUV company Hummer on the consumer electronics map with a licensed CD stereo /clock radio combination in the form of the luxury Hummer vehicle.
SDI Tech, the 50-year old manufacturer of Timex's clock radio line, claims to be the first company to introduce the combination phone/clock radio more than 10 years ago. Timex will launch in the fall its first phone/clock radio unit with optional talking caller identification, according to Ezra Ashkenazi, president of SDI.
Caption(s): RCA has shifted its focus toward multifunctional clock radios, such as this new model with integrated CD player, slated to hit retail in late August. / Timex's T489 combination clock radio/phone with talking caller ID will ship to retail in fall 2004.
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|Comment:||CLOCK RADIOS GET COMPANY AS MORE FEATURES ADDED TO PRODUCTS.|
|Publication:||HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network|
|Date:||Jul 5, 2004|
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