The Tough Get Tougher
It will be a traffic-driver, when it gets closer to it. I think either the government or the vendors will step in and have POP materials for the floor as well as canned ads and commercials. The government may even help pay for the ads, like they do with the energy rebate ads. It doesn’t merit the emphasis this far ahead of time for us, though. There are too many other things we’ve got to do rather than work on something that we won’t even sell one of for at least a year.
n Liddiard: I think our electronics sales, going into 2008, will be phenomenal, with this analog shutoff coming. Despite economic conditions, and with the election year coming up, I am glad to have electronics in our store. They do a number of things. They’re a tremendous traffic-builder, and it will be a very good time in ‘08 to be in electronics. Consumers are going to start saying, ‘You know what? This Quasar that I’ve had so long, do I really want to buy this box? We probably need a new TV, anyway, so let’s go shop and see.’ I think you’ll see a lot more advertising come out about it. As retailers, we need to educate the consumer and implement some of it into our third- and fourth-quarter advertising next year. That needs to be part of our strategy. We absolutely plan to participate in the converter box program. It’s no question that it will be a traffic-driver. I expect the vendors to jump on the education bandwagon. But it will probably be later than sooner.
n Lavine: We’re probably not participating, because that’s converting a customer with a basic analog set over to a box when, in the real world, he should be converting to a true HDTV. I don’t see it as a traffic driver—I just see it as a customer who wants to keep his old analog TV and get a converter box.