HES’s Ristow Previews Black Friday
Jim Ristow, Home Entertainment Source (HES) executive vice president, told a contingent of Brand Source members who dialed into the group’s first-ever webinar yesterday in a Q4 industry overview presentation that dealers who choose to offer deep day-after-Thanksgiving flat-panel deals as store-traffic drivers could expect to foot the bill – a phenomenon he characterized as “180 degrees [different] from 2006.”
“Last year,” Ristow said, “Black Friday was funded by vendors.” But that was because they “overbuilt inventory – they took forecasts they got, and added ‘X’ percent, maybe 20 percent. Then, they had to get rid of the goods and thus, there was this retail bloodbath. This year, in forecasts they’ve taken from retailers [they’ve figured] less ‘X’ percent, so in certain categories they’ve actually cut back dramatically 20, 30 or 40 percent down, and in some categories done slight cutbacks, but overall, there will not be the glut of product there was last year.” He said that even with the customary vendor rebates that are expected to be proffered on certain sizes and models, “ a $150 rebate isn’t equivalent to a $400 price move on Black Friday. Dealers will still be selling below their cost.”
However, his group, Ristow added, has strategized to ensure that its inventory supplies will adequately meet member needs.