Attitudes from the Publisher (March)
As Dealerscope recognizes and celebrates the Top 50 Consumer Electronics Retailers in this issue, I want to express extra special kudos to those companies that maintained, even improved, their positions from last year. Let's face it, folks: Retailers certainly aren't cruising through this economic rough patch. Domestic, geopolitical and corporate issues have all factored together to create seriously low consumer confidence levels, and that lack of confidence spells a not-so-calming quiet at cash registers in almost every retail quarter. So it's a joy to see successful companies in such an environment. These companies' ability to hold strong (or get stronger) in tough times is the ultimate testament to their creativity and overall business acumen.
To be fair, the CE business may have a slight advantage over other markets right now. It's been said that, in a harsh economic climate, the three businesses with the best shot at prosperity are the entertainment industry, the liquor industry and, my personal favorite, the consumer electronics industry. This may be true — a case certainly can be made for the potency of each. They all lend the downtrodden consumer a brief respite from reality — from the thrill of a movie on a theater-size screen, to the dulcet tones of a favorite song played on a surround sound system, to the less aesthetic escape offered in a bottle of Jack Daniels. I may be biased, but to me, the long-term (non judgment-impairing) benefits offered by new electronics make the strongest sell in a tough economy.
It is useful, however, for all of us in the CE crowd to watch and learn from anyindustry's retail successes. Though the minutiae of two businesses may be different, profit-making retail techniques are generally universal, and considering the economy out there right now, can any company afford to pass one by?