In a statement released Wednesday, research firm ABI announced that consumer electronics companies that create own-brand retail outlets and kiosks may, in the words of research director Vamsi Sistla, “disrupt the
current retail ecosystem.” Companies such as Sony, Dell, Bang & Olufsen and Pioneer are following in the footsteps of Apple, who established their own line of retail stores in May, 2001. Since then, the move has proven to be a successful one for Apple, whose over 150 stores worldwide generate roughly 20% of the company’s revenue. Other corporations, warns ABI, might not be so lucky.
ABI cites stock price as a weak spot in the strategy. OEMs that previously had to worry about being rated by Wall Street on product alone now have the performance and number of stores they operate factored into their stock price. Operational costs and the peculiar vulnerability of retailers to larger economic shifts are further complications, says ABI.
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