We recently spoke with Jack Baillio, president, Baillio’s, Albuquerque, N.M.; Greg Hager, president/founder/GM, Tri-City Electronics, Conover, N.C.; Dave Lavine, advertising manager/buyer, Percy’s, Worcester, Mass.; and Frank Liddiard, general manager, Liddiard Home Furnishings, Tooele, Utah. We asked them about their biggest concerns going into the end of the year and what will have the biggest impact on Q4 sales and profitability. For the full interview, make sure to check out December’s issue of Dealerscope.
Frank Liddiard: I think that Black Friday will probably be more important this year than in years past. Economic times are unstable, with the housing market being what it is. If you don’t go to the market Black Friday with strong, strong promotional offers, you may put yourself in the vulnerable position of having consumers shop your competitors and actually lose the competitor for the next six or 12 months. Hands down, I have to have a $129 recliner and a $999 50-inch plasma TV. We’re taking just about every category and throwing something out in the market to get these people through our door, because going into the holidays, it’s imperative to keep that business coming.
Jack Baillio: From what I’m hearing, it’s going to be worse for retailers than it was last year. It’s one of those times everyone tries to make an impact. As an independent, we don’t do those crazy things others do, and we haven’t come up with anything super-special as far as offers for Black Friday. Usually, that craziness happens just in the first two or three hours. We’ll just react as we need to. If dealers have only 10 pieces of one thing, consumers just get frustrated and buy somewhere else. It ends up, in the long run, backfiring. They don’t read all that fine print in the ads that says there are only 10. But if they come to us, we’ll try to make them a deal and make them a customer. If they come for a 50-inch plasma with whatever crazy price, we’ll try to have something around it, and if we’ve got to lose on eight or 10 of ‘em, so be it. That’s just retail. But we’re not going to try to make some crazy statement, like the nationals do. It antagonizes a certain percentage of customers.