101 and Counting
CE is big right now. How big? So big, we had to expand our annual top retailer coverage to 101 retailers. There are so many dealers in this industry, nearly all of them performing extremely well, that we had to make sure we accounted for more of them here. And the key to success seems to be keeping an eye open for new business opportunities and focusing on what you do better than the big guys: delivering excellent service with the best gear available.
And research seems to back it up. “Niche” businesses—defined as those offering a product or service focusing on one specific aspect or customer base within an industry—are growing at a rate of 20-to-25 percent, according to research conducted at the Small Business Development Center at Pace University in New York City. Coverage of our top retailers starts on page 42.
The exciting thing is that events are transpiring in our little “niche” industry that will make working in it that much easier. Number one on the list recently is the proposed merger between Sirius and XM. Whether as a 12-volt application, whole-home audio or addition to someone’s entertainment center, a converged Sirius/XM stereo is an enticing product and one that’s easier to sell when you don’t have this de facto format war. Of course, satellite radio has other hurdles to face, when it comes to portable players like the Pioneer Inno and Samsung Helix. Be sure to check out our government regulation coverage (Capitol Steps) on page 110 for the latest on that.