Retail industry veteran, Carl Eugene "Buddy" Dixson Sr., president and CEO of Crosley Corp., died recently at the age of 83. An outspoken businessman, Dixson considered himself an advocate for the independent retailer. In 1977, he bought the brand-name of Crosley from AVCO, used if for his own distribution company and in 1978 began to offer Crosley-branded major appliances exclusively to independent retailers who began to lose product lines to national retailers. The following is an article, based on an interview with Dixson conducted by Dealerscope last Fall for our 80th anniversary issue: "I was born in this business, I've been in it
Consumers' current desire and need to stay close to home could prove a boon for some appliance sectors. By Collin Keefe With the year-long economic slump looking like it's going to get worse as 2001 winds down, merchants and manufacturers in almost every sector are lowering their expectations for 2002, while scrambling to amass a survival plan to get themselves out of 2001's hole. In the major appliances world things aren't much different. Recent indicators show that sales, if not flat, are falling. Industry vets like Miele Marketing Manager Lynda Coyle say that throughout the series of economic setbacks in the U.S.
By Janet Pinkerton Buddy Dixson, Sr. doesn't believe in 80/20—the industry maxim that says 80 percent of the business is done by 20 percent of the players. Traditional interpretation attributes 80 percent of the consumer electronics and major appliance volume to the top 20 percent of retailers, all direct sales to national and regional retailers, leaving 20 percent to everybody else—independent distributors and their dealers, mostly. From where Dixson sits as president and CEO of Crosley Corp., 80/20 is hogwash. "Those figures are entirely false," Dixson said. "Independent distributors in this industry do about 40 percent. What the industry people overlook is the
By Janet Pinkerton Audio/video electronics distributors who survived the 1970s' and '80s' shakeout are profiting from manufacturers' and dealers' recent return to two-step distribution. Distributors also report they are retooling their businesses to mine new niches, including custom installers, new retail venues, expanded territories and Internet sales fulfillment. According to Douglas Jones, Samsung's central regional sales manager, in 1997, Samsung's dealer base totaled 500 dealers, but then it reduced its in-house sales force, reduced its direct customer base to about 180 accounts (determined by both dollar volume and/or geographic location) and gave the balance of those accounts to about a dozen distributors. The result