The Luxury Class
With sales to the low- and mid-end of the market flagging, the Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) buying group is directing its members to tap deeper into the luxury client market.
Combined sales of the group’s 62 members was up only about five percent this year, for combined revenue of about $500 million, said Richard Glikes, the group’s executive director. “I thought we would have had a better year,” he said during the group’s recent Fall Pump Up in Dallas. “Depending on the dealer, we’ve always had 20-40 percent compounded growth, and it seems we’ve hit a wall. We're used to being the darlings, the heroes. I’m not comfortable with this [year’s revenue].”
Glikes and dealers blamed the stagnation on erratic product supply, sinking TV prices, low consumer confidence, the housing slump and the credit crunch. Consumers in the upper tiers of the income bracket, for the most part, are relatively immune to those market conditions and continue to buy big-ticket home theater systems and related services.