Looking Past Flat Panels
This is shaping up to be a humbling year for CE retailing, to put it lightly. CompUSA closing half its stores, Tweeter closing stores and considering bankruptcy, Circuit City laying off its most senior salespeople, RadioShack cutting jobs again.... We’ve been hearing this kind of news all year, and along with each announcement comes the same complaint: low flat panel TV margins.
Isn’t that ironic? The most popular consumer electronics category (maybe second to iPod), one of the “must have” products of the decade, is also developing into the nemesis of the CE industry. Can this really be true?
If your retail business lives and dies on the margins of plasma and LCD TVs then you better find another business fast. Consider selling clothing (it’s cheaper to ship) or cosmetics (it’s rarely returned) or tropical fish (they don’t eat much). Or, even better, take a good hard look at your current business and rethink your strategy.