Accessories: The Industry's Viagra
On the consumer side, we’re also seeing that people are staying home more—which, truthfully, has been a benefit for us. When people travel, they buy our products but also when they stay home, they do, too—and use a larger array of them. They’ll rent a movie on TV instead of going out to one, and may buy a lens cleaner for their DVD player or another care or maintenance product. There are upticks we’re seeing in some of those care and maintenance items as well, which had been a bit sluggish prior to Christmas last year. We also saw an uptick after Christmas in headphones, because everyone got an MP3 player for a gift.
For us, blank media is still a huge category. Even though people are storing information on hard drives and USBs and some solid-state technology, they still need to back this information up. There is still a need for it—although probably not the demand there was two or three years ago, or even six months ago. T-120s, you know, are still a big business for us, with the large installed base of VCRs out there.
Chiarelli: The accessory business per se has always been kind of recession-proof. It never declines at the same rate as most other hard-goods categories do. Looking at market forecasts, for the most part, the accessories category will grow at a faster pace than the other CE categories. Photo frames, though, have been a bit of a disappointment. Last year, photo frames were the new hot product; this year, they have not lived up to expectations. That’s a category that’s very event-driven. It’s still not a mainstream, day-to-day purchase.