What They're Thinking: Dave Robison, CEO of DSI Distributing, Part 2
Customers don't always want the cheapest, but in the environment in Best Buy or Walmart, they are almost not given a choice. Maybe the (step-up) product is sitting there, but there's nobody telling them what the differences (in products) are.I'm of the opinion that the only place you get to make that choice is an independent TV specialty store.
I had gone to manufacturer meeting after manufacturer meeting where the talk was this war between Walmart and Best Buy. Then I went to the Web and began to study what Walmart has done to the grocery business and the hardware business. One thing put me over the edge: The research that said that Walmart was importing such a major portion of the U.S. food supply that if something disrupted Walmart's imports, the U.S. could not feed itself. It just stopped feeling like free enterprise at that point. I just sat back in my chair and said, 'Wow. Are you kidding me?'
Between margins going down, between our dealers telling story after story about what Walmart was doing in their markets, and watching the manufacturers tremble about what Walmart was doing and going to do, I just said 'screw it' and protested (in front of a West Des Moines Walmart on May 19th) with no grand plan.