By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Following a dismal April, specialty retailers said June sales have bounced back somewhat and are running near flat with last year.
Close to a dozen retailers said sales are flat, although some said a small gain is still possible for the year. Retailers continue to blame the general economy and point out that 2001 was a very strong year. Flat sales, under these conditions, they said, are to be expected.
Suppliers such as Alpine confirmed the trend. "All indications, based on our sales and [NPD] INTELECT data, show that January through March was okay, April was a disaster, May came back to just below last year's levels and we came back with a strong June," said VP marketing Stephen Witt.
Jo-Di's, Hartford, Conn., said sales are flat but the chain expects to finish the year up fifteen percent. Al & Ed's, Monterey Park, Calif., said "business is okay," according to purchasing manager, John Haynes. Audio Express, Searcy, Ariz., said sales were down slightly.
According to Bob Zinno, VP, Boomer McLoud, Newington, Conn., "May and June have picked up a little. We just closed the books on June and we were just short of last year. May was up about five percent. We're happy to be where we are, if we can keep the status quo in a down economy."
Joe Komaromi, president of Pacific Audio & Alarm, Fullerton, Calif. said, "April was down by about 8 percent in dollars, May was down but June was flat, within half a percent. It's not just our industry; it's a broad slowdown and the Fed has been lowering interest rates. They just made, I believe, the fifth interest rate cut, and in the next few months we'll feel the impact of the first interest rate cut — it takes about six months to feel the impact."
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.