Retail Turns A Corner
Regional dealers see a less painful 2010August 2011 By Nancy Klosek
Burt Krieger, President, Boscov's, Reading, Pa.: The appliance business was down because of the lack of housing starts and slower home sales. Also video/electronics business has been down. There was no urgency for the changeover to digital that existed last year. Consumer demand isn't as elastic as it was then, with people anticipating that they would have a TV that wouldn't work. Because of the economy, there's been a pullback in what we perceive to be equal-value pricing. We're trying to maintain the business at a profitable level, and that has resulted in a total lower volume for us, because we're not chasing things below cost or doing irrational things. But we're trying to be competitive at the same time. So those things, together, have resulted in a down business, although we were up in the last week of October.
Some bright spots were smaller screen sizes, 32 inches, especially. We used to cut our teeth on 42s and 50s; both have been down a bit but the smaller sizes, where the price points are more affordable to almost everyone replacing the bedroom TV.
Keith Saunders, District Manager & Electronics Buyer, Queen City Audio Video & Appliances, Charlotte, N.C.: Sales dollars were flat to a little above last year, and profitability is looking better. There were no shining stars in terms of categories. LCD panels kept us busy, as well as TVs 46 inches and up; 32-inch has been good, too.