Inventory forecasting for video displays has always been “the never-ending, moving target,” in the words of Cambridge SoundWorks buyer Ron Bigos. This quarter, however, that target is moving in a pricing maelstrom.
By mid-October, before the mad rush of Black Friday, flat panel pricing was already going haywire, with an overabundance of LCD and plasma supply, early vendor price-cuts and some surprising retail moves.
Regional dealers and their buying groups in mid-October were complaining about a Panasonic’s 50-inch, 720p plasma TV selling online at companies such as bestbuy.com, circuitcity.com, Amazon.com and jandr.com for about $2,599 with free shipping, $2,499 without. The minimum advertised price (MAP) at the time was $3,099, and not slated to lower until November 1.