Peter Berghammer

Peter Berghammer
China's Impact on U.S. Retail

The new decade has opened with many analysts focusing on the significance of the manufacturing rebound in China

Time to Watch Those Budgets

When it comes to state and federal legislation, the CE industry is mainly concerned with how the major bills and proposals impact the industry.

Finding the Next Big Thing

There's no reason to repeat all of the bad economic news we're already inundated with. What's worth discussing, though, is what lurks beneath the surface of all that gloom and doom. What you find are hints of potential and optimism.

In Retail, Fat and Slow Suffer Deepest Wounds

In any economic downturn, certain sectors will be hit harder than others. We've seen this numerous times in the United States as the farming, steel and aerospace sectors felt the weight of economic challenges. The same weight is now pushing down the retail sector.

A Different Day

As 2009 progresses, the impact of the steps taken by the old and new administrations to prop up the economy, along with the final tallies of holiday sales, are beginning to hit the industry.

Using the Recession to Sharpen Strategies


It took the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) this long to finally confirm what retailers have long known: the U.S. economy entered a recession at the end of 2007. We can only hope that the damn thing ends long before the NBER “officially” announces it’s over.

Prevent a Recession, Empower the Store Manager

There are several lessons retailers should learn from the current economic nightmare: Realistic government data on the true state of anything problematic are released much too late in the game, verbal and written analysis from “officials” and “experts” are often skewed to paint a picture that’s rosier than the real story, and remedies usually arrive when the problem is beyond repair.

All Eyes on China

China put on an impressive and renewed face to the world during the Olympics. Yet strains in the mask are showing as China’s economy, and those in surrounding regions, begin to cool off. This chill should be taken in relative terms, given that any number of western economies, especially the United States, would love to have a slowdown where GDP growth still hits 10.4 percent, down from 11.9 percent two quarters ago.

Emerging Opportunities in Home Automation

With the seemingly endless flow of bad economic news in the U.S. and Europe, retailers have reason to be concerned. Despite the doom and gloom, there is growing opportunity in the home automation sector. The consumers that fuel these opportunities have homes in the $2-million range and continue to spend on automation and security solutions, as well as higher-end home appliances. This group of consumers’ accounts for a disproportionate amount of activity in the real estate market. Whether they are maintaining a residence or upgrading or searching for a new one, this group constitutes a stable and growing demographic that bodes well for

Government Regulation Can Help Retailers

This summer marked California’s foray into the world of regulating the use of mobile phones while driving. It is now the fifth state to regulate cell phone use, joining Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, in prohibiting drivers from talking on handheld phones while driving. This is a category of regulation that is actually helpful to retailers, driving the sale and installation of hands-free mobile products and solutions. Retailers that leverage these new mandates to market their products and services have increased sales, profits and consumer awareness of their differentiators. It is

Where’s The Spend

What’s clear is that by now most taxpayers should have received their rebate checks, as part of the economic stimulus package. What’s not is what impact the rebates will have on retail. The general consensus is that consumers will either bank their checks or use them to pay for everyday essentials, like food, gas and credit payments. In the past, recipients of government refunds or rebates have shown little appetite to park those payments in a savings account. There’s little hard evidence to support claims that consumers have changed their habits. U.S. citizens have a long and lousy record in the personal savings category.

Berghammer: Where’s the Spend?

What’s clear by now is that most taxpayers should have received their rebate checks, as part of the economic stimulus package. What’s not is what impact the rebates will have on retail. The general consensus is that consumers will either bank their checks or use them to pay for everyday essentials, like food, gas and credit payments. In the past, recipients of government refunds or rebates have shown little appetite to park those payments in a savings account. There’s little hard evidence to support claims that consumers have changed their habits. U.S. citizens have a long and lousy record in the personal

The Economy’s Impact on Retail

Events over the last two decades have led to an unbridled confidence in the U.S. market’s ability to self-regulate, which stabilizes the economy and generates future growth. The fact that the world’s economy was heavily dependant on the economic health of the United States made it all more important to get things right here on the homefront. But things haven’t been going right here during the last 12 months, and the slowing U.S. economy has done little to calm the frayed nerves of CE manufacturers and retailers. The right strategic planning and a sharp focus on core competencies, however, will help retailers weather the

Product Placement Could Help Boost Brand

As we enter the opening months of 2008, many CE retailers and manufacturers are taking a hard look at their product promotion budgets. A larger part of that budget is being aimed at product placement on movies and television programs, something that in the past had been too difficult or expensive for all but the tier-one bands. But the broad product range needed by the movie and television industries has lured retailers such as Macy’s and manufacturers such as Plantronics with premium product placements in prominent films such as “Mission Impossible” and TV series such as “America’s Next Superhero.” What CE retailers and