Dealers have also honed their offerings to fit new buying patterns or improve margins. Wexler brought on AudioQuest cables and power products, which he said generates higher profits than many other lines. He also brought on the Marantz Reference series and B&W speakers.
Mike McMaster, president of Wilshire Home Entertainment with three stores in the Los Angeles area, is merchandising more "affordable luxury items," like a bundled $1,000 home theater system. "Nobody feels good about spending money now unless they feel they're getting a deal," he said.
All dealers are scratching around for any flat-panel line that yields decent margin and other product lines that aren't commoditized by the big boxes after being on the market for a week. "I want to have specialty brands that tell a story," Myer said. "I'm going back to making sure that our number-one brand is MyerEmco. It's rocket science; I'm not going to differentiate on price."