A Year In Review
If the dawning of the New Year is a time for reminiscence, 2007 will probably be a year many dealers, distributors and buying group leaders would rather forget.
While leaders in the CE industry named the margin free fall and the shift to flat-panel TVs as the most significant market factors of the year, every person who was interviewed said they’ll remember 2007 for its tumultuous economy. Housing sales and prices declined while inventories increased. The subprime mortgage fiasco, the credit crunch and the rise in gas prices dogged consumer confidence. More pricing mayhem was expected on Black Friday, heralded by Wal-Mart’s early promotion of a $99 Toshiba HD DVD player.
Despite bad memories, Dealerscope's sources named some bright spots such as the rise of the networked home, the increasing availability of digital content from major studios and producers, and the significant growth of mobile electronics. Many dealers also spoke in both awe and envy of Apple’s retail strategies and product achievements. They also shared with us some of the lessons they’ve learned over the last year and how those will shape their business models and go-to-market strategies in 2008, which many expect to present tougher challenges than 2007.