Tom Drake

Competing with the big boxes, a retailer finds itself considering every tool in the shed to keep prices at a minimum, and that includes rebates. But consumer rebates can act as a double-edged sword. They represent an excellent opportunity to drop prices with usually only the manufacturer taking the hit. But if only a few customers experience unreasonable problems attempting to (heaven forbid!) cash in the rebate, you may find your brand the villain at various parties and Internet forums. There’s no sale worth that. Like extended service plans, the word on the street concerning rebates can be negative at times. Consumers are often

Pricing is a tricky issue for most retailers. No one wants to lose margins, but product discounts and sales are still one the best tried and true methods for getting people into the store. But this practice and other pricing strategies may be hindered by recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows manufacturers to set minimum prices. The question that remains for consumer electronics retailers is: Is this really going to matter? The ruling was laid down on June 28 in review of “Leegin Creative Leather Products, In. v. PSKS, Inc., Kay’s Kloset, Kay’s shoes,” when the country’s highest court ruled five to four

Pricing is a tricky issue for most retailers. No one wants to lose margins, but product discounts and sales are still one the best tried and true methods for getting people into the store. But this practice and other pricing strategies may be hindered by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows manufacturers to set minimum prices. The question that remains for consumer electronics retailers is: Is this really going to matter? The ruling was laid down on June 28 in review of “Leegin Creative Leather Products, In. v. PSKS, Inc., Kay’s Kloset, Kay’s Shoes,” when the country’s highest court ruled five to

Dear Shopper, Despite what the salesperson says, you don’t need an Extended Warranty. Yours truly, Consumer Reports Those 17 words appeared in a full-page ad Consumer Reports purchased in USA Today in November to highlight a recent report in the magazine, which came out just before Black Friday, and the maelstrom has yet to cease. For the independent dealer, the ad hit particularly hard. This came from the same magazine that only a year ago heralded independent electronics and appliance dealers as oftentimes better places to shop than big box retailers. For the warranty companies, it was a one-sided attack on an industry that services many customers admirably, with billions

North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA) Executive Director Tom Drake admits that buying groups have a much closer relationship with retailers, when it comes to product forecasting. But Drake cited three NARDA resources that can help members with resources to improve their forecasting and inventory management skills. 1) NARDA University programs on enterprise planning and strategic planning, designed to guide dealers on their larger objectives in business planning. 2) NARDA Cost of Doing Business Survey, the most recent of which dates from 2005 and was completed in partnership with PARA. Data in the survey—concerning age of inventory and carrying costs, for example—can be used to

Inventory forecasting for video displays has always been “the never-ending, moving target,” in the words of Cambridge SoundWorks buyer Ron Bigos. This quarter, however, that target is moving in a pricing maelstrom. By mid-October, before the mad rush of Black Friday, flat panel pricing was already going haywire, with an overabundance of LCD and plasma supply, early vendor price-cuts and some surprising retail moves. Regional dealers and their buying groups in mid-October were complaining about a Panasonic’s 50-inch, 720p plasma TV selling online at companies such as bestbuy.com, circuitcity.com, Amazon.com and jandr.com for about $2,599 with free shipping, $2,499 without. The minimum advertised

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