Why Dealers Love Add-ons
Home media is an industry primarily made up of accessories. In essence, consumers purchase accessories for other accessories. According to Grant Hancock, marketing manager/buyer at California’s Howard’s TV and Appliance, business is booming, thanks to the thinning of flat screens.
“The accessory categories our business has seen the most success from this year have been sound bars and TV mounts,” Hancock said. “As flat screens continue to get thinner and sleeker, audio quality has suffered greatly. Thus, many consumers find the need to purchase separate audio equipment to complete the experience for their new TV. We have also seen a resurgence in TV mounts lately. As the economy and discretionary income have improved, we have seen more consumers move from saving money by setting the TV up on a current stand to installing their new TV on the wall.”
Hancock said that sound bars hold the most promise for the balance of the year. As sound quality drops in smaller flat screens and manufacturers improve sound quality and features in sound bars, consumers are attracted to their simplicity, and gravitate to high-end models.
JBL/Harman Kardon accessories and Monster cables are performing well for Howard’s right now. “Consumers are familiar with the JBL/Harman Kardon name, which has helped drive a higher ASP within our sound bar category,” Hancock said. “With Monster’s new cable lineup and repositioned prices, we have seen more consumers willing to pay for higher-quality cables, whereas they were more inclined to purchase budget cables the past few years.”
Howard’s is also dipping its toes into multi-room audio, a corner of the market that is exploding alongside smart technology. “Although we have carried audio since the beginning of Howard’s—which started out as a radio repair company—we had primarily been focusing on audio attachments with TVs. Now, with the ease of setting up wireless technologies and the onset of the connected home, we have seen an opportunity to cross-merchandise multi-room audio with all product categories.”
Howard’s is also looking at huge potential in 4K/UHD TVs in the coming year. Consumers are expected to shop for new TVs as this updated technology hits the market.
“4K/UHD TVs are creating excitement in the electronics category and encouraging consumers with discretionary income to shop for new TVs,” Hancock said. “As this happens, consumers want to get the best experience possible by upgrading their audio equipment, purchasing TV stands or mounts, and upgrading their cables and power surge protectors.” n