The Regional Riff
Rosenberg: TVs are doing well. Appliances for us are very strong—especially the added-value Energy Star-rated ones. Anyone who has to deal with fuel bills recognizes the value of these, especially in our area. They appreciate better-value products—things that generate return on very small investments. We're more of an added-value retailer. People like the ranges that have extra cooking capacity, more burners, and faster cooking times and that are easier to clean. Audio in general for us is disappointing. It hasn't connected the way we would like to the video product.
Perry: All our flat-screen TVs are selling well, with the exception of the 60-inch category. Prices need to drop below the magic $10,000 price-point to get much velocity on these sets. Perhaps it's a chicken-and-egg issue for the vendors. They can't lower the price until they start to sell in large numbers, but they won't sell at the high price. Someone is going to have to make a leap of faith on this. We still need to sell more audio, and have initiated training programs and incentives for the sales staff. I like Sony's advertising approach that makes a pitch for HD video and HD audio, linking them together in the customers' minds.
SooHoo: DVD recorders have been disappointing—that category has kind of dried up. Probably people are waiting for a new format. It's also because of the preponderance of DVD burners on computers. Programmable remotes are a very good category for us. Audio has been moderately good this year, too.