THE BRONX, NY - Apple Photo Systems and JVL Corp. report that the two companies are entering into a strategic partnership in which Apple becomes the exclusive distributor of JVL's touchscreen video game products. The announcement was made by Apple president Allen Weisberg and JVL CEO Peter Gutteres during last month's Amusement Showcase International.
Weisberg told V/T that the alliance will allow operators to penetrate new market areas. "We believe that there are more than 40,000 non-contracted chain accounts available across the United States for JVL products that have not been tapped into," he said. "We fully intend on taking advantage of that void."
Apple is currently the exclusive U.S. marketing and sales representative for the SNK product line. In addition to SNK's "Neo Geo" multi-video game line, Apple markets the Japanese company's popular "Neo Print" photo sticker machines, which are experiencing strong sales due to Apple's National Operators Program, placing the photo booths in such chain accounts as Old Navy and Tower Records. Operators who purchase "Neo Prints" are eligible to participate in the national placement program.
Weisberg said Apple will create greater demand for the JVL product through its National Operators Program, offering customers access to contracted locations.
Concord, Ontario-based JVL's latest CD-ROM touchscreen system is "Conquest," which features the new Internet-enabled "Touch & Win" software, unveiled during ASI. JVL also offers a new patented sweepstakes system that gives every player a chance to win through a random drawing.
JVL's "Conquest," Weisberg asserted, is the only touchscreen currently available for purchase that is running a working tournament system.
"Many of the other companies have been talking about releasing an online system, but JVL is already doing it, and that's important because they are months ahead of the curve."
Weisberg added that by concentrating on running local tournaments designed to create multiple winners at each location, JVL games are positioned to encourage repeat play.
"National tournaments are a good concept, but let's face it, it's like winning the lottery, and the prizes rarely filter down to the local level," he said. "By focusing on local tournaments, operators will see their cashbox revenue go up significantly. It's similar to a crane machine, if someone plays a crane and doesn't win the revenue drops off by 30 to 40 percent."
The ability to run a sweepstakes, he noted, also will attract national accounts, which will be able to access a database of their customers who are participating in the program.
When Apple acquires a national account, it allows its operator partners to place and service equipment in those accounts. Any operator can apply to the program, accessing prime locations in his market area.
In addition to Tower Records and Old Navy, Apple's National Operators Program serves 250 Vanity teenage clothing stores and a variety of smaller accounts. It held a contract with Bradlees before the department store chain went out of business last year.
Working with knowledgeable operators across the country, Apple has developed a successful national management system that enables operators to share in its equity, and allows Apple to maintain equipment. All commissions are sent to Apple, which forwards a commission check to the corporate account. Service and maintenance calls are directed from the location to Apple, which dispatches them out to its operators.
Similar to SNK product, JVL product will still be sold through standard industry distribution channels. In addition to Guterres, Apple will be working with JVL sales pros Jim Hall and Valerie Bechtold and JVL's design and engineering team.
Apple Photo Systems is based at 1107 East Gunhill Rd., The Bronx, NY 10464; tel. (718) 655-0404; fax (718) 547-4801; http://:www.applephotosys.com.