ICBA at D&H Back to School Show

Interesting Day 2 at the D&H Show! Many college stores and vendors were very pleased to learn that Paula Haerr had joined ICBA and are looking forward to enhanced support from ICBA going forward.

The format of the D&H Show is a “round robin” (aka Speed-Dating) with 48 vendors each getting 5 minutes with each Buyer. It’s a great way to get a sense of what is hot in the market and what can potentially move the sales needle in a positive direction.

Here’s a summary of the highlights from ICBA’s perspective:

USB-CIt’s time for college stores to build a solid USB-C accessory assortment (probably 4-6 SKUs) including cables, hubs, adapters, etc. While USB-C device and accessory sales have been growing, the accessories still represent a smallish percentage of cable/adapter/hub sales. However, the consensus was that, over the next 12 months, USB-C devices will become much more prevalent and USB-C accessory sales will really start to grow.

Unlocked Motorola phones
International students have a challenge when seeking to set up domestic voice/data plans. Unlocked phones have been around for a while, but Motorola’s unlocked phones bring credibility to the market and are worth strong consideration this fall. By the way, Motorola is now part of Lenovo and Lenovo is interested in driving this part of the market.

Flash Drive Capacities Increasing 
It’s time to phase out of 8GB drives and make 16GB your entry level SKU. The recommended assortment now looks to be 16GB/32GB/64GB, so make sure you are not stuck with excess 8GB Flash Drive inventory. What’s that? You still have 2GB drives in stock?? No comment.


Fashion Still Plays

French Bull

One of the ways to differentiate yourself as a retailer in commodity categories is to infuse some fashion. Both PCT Brands (formerly PC Treasures) and Griffin/Incipio offered interesting fashion takes on basic products.

French Bull 
PCT is now a licensee of the French Bull brand and is using that colorful, patterned French Bull look to spice up everything from Bluetooth speakers to power banks to hubs.

Griffin/Incipio continues to broaden its lineup and is now featuring licensed phone case and accessory products from Under Armour, Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, and Vera Bradley.

Griffin Kate Spade  Griffen Rebecca Minkoff  Griffen Vera Bradley


Dusty Rose Gold

Color of the Show?
Dusty rose gold. It appeared on cables, power banks, cases, and more throughout the show.




Apple Watch ChargerApple Watch Chargers
Various manufacturers were showing off Apple Watch chargers. As the number of watches continues to grow, charger sales should grow as well.




Multi Device ChargerMulti-Device Chargers
In general, more and better device charging solutions are needed by consumer. Today’s multi-device users need 3, 4, and even 5 USB outlets to be accessible at their workspace. Let’s add the need for another 1, 2, 3, or 4 AC outlets, and a sales opportunity is born. Various vendors showed creative solutions to this problem with flexible units that expanded the number of traditional USB outlets, USB-C outlets, and AC outlets that can be readily accessed from a desktop.


Thank You again to D&H for coordinating this valuable conference and for supporting ICBA and our Member stores! See you next year!