The Little, Big Fish
This month in Dealerscope, we take a look at the top 50 consumer electronics retailers in North America. It’s always an interesting list. Like clockwork, the top 15 are the usual suspects—Best Buy, Wal-Mart and other national chains. But it’s the rest of the top 50 that always proves to be an interesting mix and still a fluid playing field, with some companies climbing steadily up the ranks and others making the list for the first time.
What I find intriguing about the list is its increasing diversity, not just in the types of stores selling CE, but in the relative sizes of the companies. It would be easy to assume that everyone who makes the cut is a large company with a large number of stores. It would also be wrong. On the contrary, right next to large chains like Kroger’s and Car Toys sit small power houses such as J&R Electronics and Brandsmart. And web retailers are increasingly making the list, as well, such as Crutchfield and Buy.com
I’m not trying to say that every small retailer should be able to make the top 50 (nor need it be a goal), but a common complaint among independent dealers is the competition faced from the big boxes. While it’s a fair complaint, it should never be viewed as a loosing battle. Certainly, big box stores have put more than one independent out of business, but is that truly the only reason? Could it be that these dealers were too set in their ways to take this competition head-on?