The Tough Get Tougher
All the signposts point to it: the CE and appliance industries are headed for a bumpy ride through the end of this year and at least into the first quarter of 2008. While CEA predicts a seven percent increase of CE sales through retailers by the end of this year, that’s half of last year’s increase. It’s going to take more than a few new products on the CE side and some slight aesthetic improvements on the appliance side to brighten the forecast.Through it all, the independents, which inhabit the middle of the retailing pyramid, will face the most challenges. We recently spoke with Jack Baillio, president, Baillio’s, Albuquerque, N.M.; Greg Hager, president, founder and GM, Tri-City Electronics, Conover, N.C.; Dave Lavine, advertising manager/buyer, Percy’s, Worcester, Mass.; and Frank Liddiard, general manager, Liddiard Home Furnishings, Tooele, Utah. They offered their take on the challenges ahead and how they plan to overcome them.
DEALERSCOPE: What are your biggest concerns going into this period vs. what they were going into the 2006 holiday season? What will have the biggest impact on your Q4 sales and profitability?
n Frank Liddiard: I think that Black Friday will probably be more important this year than in years past. Economic times are unstable, with the housing market being what it is. If you don’t go to the market Black Friday with strong, strong promotional offers, you may put yourself in the vulnerable position of having consumers shop your competitors and actually lose the competitor for the next six or 12 months. Hands down, I have to have a $129 recliner and a $999 50-inch plasma TV. We’re taking just about every category and throwing something out in the market to get these people through our door, because going into the holidays, it’s imperative to keep that business coming.