Getting the Goods on Buying Groups
None of us is going to sit here and say we’re happy to see this, but we’re not naive that the manufacturers out there won’t find a way to sell. There were announcements made recently about [certain manufacturers] deciding to sell Best Buy, which were not there a year ago. Go back four years ago, when Home Depot wasn’t in the appliance business; today, they are. I can tell you, even with them being in it, our business has flourished. I believe what has happened is that there is a customer base out there willing to buy from that environment—which I throw a lot of those nationals into. Well, there’s another customer out there that’s not happy with that environment, so if another one pops up, they won’t be happy there, either, and they’re much more comfortable purchasing in our type of environment.
LAWRENCE: The only one I’d tell you that’s a concern—and I’m talking appliances, electronics and furniture—is Wal-Mart. They’re continuing to press farther into CE—that’s the only new expansion of a retail channel I’m seeing. There’s normal growth with internet guys, not a big change there, and continuing expansion of some of the regionals, but the only one that could cause concern is if Wal-Mart continues to get stronger in CE. That’s alarming.
Dealerscope: What have your members had to do in the past year to remain competitive? And what do you recommend that
they do to remain so?