Coby Electronics Acquired by Gordon Brothers Group
Coby Electronics' future in the promotional products industry—and in the consumer-electronics business—is uncertain.
The Boston-based Gordon Brothers Group acquired Coby's assets in August, after Coby reportedly had two rounds of layoffs as it prepared to shut down by the end of the year. However, those plans seemed to have changed.
"As a niche market leader for over 25 years, Coby's brand recognition and wide array of products leaves it well-positioned to continue successfully serving consumers in search of electronics at a popular price point," Robert Himmel, the group's co-president, commercial and industrial division, said in an August press release. "Our goal over the next few months is to transform the structure of the company allowing for a flow of new products into the marketplace in late-2013."
It is unclear where that process stands as Himmel did not agree to an interview by press time, and nobody at Coby could be reached for comment. Multiple phone calls to its Lake Success, N.Y. headquarters were unanswered, and the public relations firm that represented Coby has not been in contact with the business since February.
Young Dong Lee started Cowboy, a consumer electronics wholesale distribution company in the mid-1980s, but wanted a to establish a brand that had a lower price point, so he founded Coby in 1991 in Queens, N.Y.
Coby found success with audio accessories at first, but has competed with larger brands with its DVD players, smaller TVs and digital photo frames as technology evolved--even breaking into the tablet market in recent years and, according to Gordon Brothers' press release, earning $400 million in sales annually.
Coby has been a player in the promotional products industry, bringing its consumer electronics to industry trade shows for years and forming a partnership with CafePress in 2011.