Retailers Give 2011 Predictions
Regional dealers, who were highlighted in our recent roundtable, give us an idea of what’s ahead for 2011.
Mark Reckling, CEO/President, Grand Appliance and TV, Zion, Ill.: We’re pretty confident about 2011. I don’t think we’re going back to the same kind of fury we had in 2007. But I think that slowly, there’s some confidence coming back. We’ve done some market expansion in this period. We added two stores through the year. We don’t have a sure plan for more expansion in 2011 but we are open to opportunities.
Terry Oates, President, King’s Great Buys Plus, Evansville, Ind.: I think it will be more of the same. I don’t think there will be any dramatic turnarounds or great revelations from the elections. Ultimately, there has to be some real change so we know what to plan for. America has changed forever, relative to the way customers are going to spend. I don’t think we’re going to see the freewheeling spending that we had in the past, and retailers as a whole will have to offer legitimate value and a high level of service if they’re going to be successful. They’ll have to choose whether to be a high-touch retailer or a low-touch retailer, a no-service/no-frills operation or offer the highest level of customer service that can be had. But you’ll still need to have legitimate value. Customers need to ask themselves, ‘If I’m going to make an investment in a high-tech piece of equipment in my kitchen, am I doing that with the right kind of retailer who can take care of me if I have an issue?’ There are two kinds of customers. Retailers are just going to have to decide which ones they’re going to deal with.