Sidebar: An Eye On the Market
As go-betweens for suppliers, retailers and custom integrators, distributors are in the catbird seat to offer keen observations on market dynamics.
The downward spiral of flat panel TV pricing and the impact it will continue to have on retailers and their customers is one hot-button issue distributors are keeping a close watch of.
“As long as the custom installation and integration business has existed, it has existed in its own world,” Bob Gartland, president of AVAD, said. “Specifically, what retail did at any given time had little to no bearing on the custom business. But, from Thanksgiving 2006 on, for the first time, the slash-and-burn retailing of flat-panel TV actually pierced the bubble of the custom install entertainment business, and it was very chaotic for our dealers to make their way through that time period—it was a shock, big time.”