Michael Perlman

Editor in chief of Dealerscope

The way Michael Perlman sees it, there probably has never been a worse time to be a traditional consumer electronics retailer: A relentlessly bad economy has battered sales and beaten back consumer confidence; anyone can find just about anything cheaper on the Internet (and, in most cases, skip the state sales tax while doing so); the general CE industry has practically handed customers over to Apple. The list goes on.

 The CE industry has witnessed challenging times in the past, but nothing compares to what it has suffered during the last six months. The confluence of job cuts, home losses, the collapse of Wall Street and its impact on Main Street, and the frozen credit market have even the most seasoned retailers scrambling for survival.

 Besides that 800-pound gorilla crashing around the room—the economy—here’s a look at the seminal events in CE technologies, products and other trends that our roundtable participants thought had the biggest impact on the industry and their businesses in 2008.

Dealerscope recently spoke with Bob Cole, president of Bob & Ron's World Wide Stereo, Hatfield, Pa.; George Manlove, CEO and President, Vann's, Missoula, Mont.; Daniel Pidgeon, CFO, Starpower, Dallas; and Michael Perlman of BrandsMart USA to find out how they're dealing with the down economy.

1 1 Dell 37.43 B 36.28 B 3.17 37.43 B 36.28 B 1 N/A 1 Dell Way Round Rock, TX 78682 512-338-4400 www.dell.com Michael Dell Public, EO (MO/Web) 2 2 Best Buy 22.48 B 19.45 B 15.58 29.97 B 26.65 B 858 742 7601 Penn Ave. South Richfield, MN 55423 612-291-1000 www.bestbuy.com Bradbury H. Anderson Public, ATVM (+Web) 3 3 Wal-Mart 23.49 B 21.68 B 1.81 234.87 B 216.77 B 3,689 3,461 702 SW Eighth St. Bentonville, AR 72716 479-273-4000 www.walmartstores.com H. Lee Scott Jr. Public, MM (+Web) 4 4 Circuit City 11.93 B 10.79 B 10.56 11.93 B 10.79 B 653 631 9950 Maryland Dr. Richmond, VA 23233 804-527-4000 www.circuitcity.com Philip J. Schoonover Public, EO (+Web) 5 5 Staples 8.1 B 7.23 B 12.03 15.41 B 13.85 B 1,576 1,491 500 Staples

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