Shining Light on the Industry
Oates: We have furniture and bedding, as well as appliances and electronics. From a margin opportunity, clearly, bedding and mattresses were a bright spot for us, as for a lot of other retailers. We’ve taken an extended view of the furniture business as well. In some stores, we added it where we didn’t have it, and that seems to be working well for us also.
I think you’ll see a lot of dealers embrace those categories. They have to do something to augment their margins—particularly smaller dealers that don’t have some of the buying efficiencies that a regional would have. As public companies try to drive the top line, execution is a real key for regionals. From the vendor’s perspective, they have to have somebody who can execute the way we do. I recognize that having a lot of storefronts like a big box has is important to them for exposure. But you look at Best Buy, at hhgregg and at some of the others who are selling electronics, and they’re not faring so well right now. At the end of the day, it’s got to be a win-win for everyone. I think for awhile there, electronics manufacturers were the only ones making any money, and people were getting tired of that. I know I was.
Dealerscope: What was the one product you made the most profit on this year?
Robinette: The product we made the most profit on this year was probably soundbars—they generated both profit and the dollar volume.