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The portable “video in a bag” market has declined dramatically in the past year, dropping by 50 percent this year in units, according to Audiovox.
The market is shifting instead to new lower-cost overhead systems and portable DVD players, said industry members.
Two years ago, video in a bag systems enjoyed high double-digit annual growth percentages because they offered a lower cost alternative to installed overhead video systems, which cost about $999. Now overhead systems are available at $400, leaving a smaller price gap between video in a bag products in the $229 to $249 range.
Portable clamshell-type DVD players with 7-inch screens, now priced at $149 and below, are an even cheaper alternative to video-in-a-bag products, Malone said.
Audiovox said it plans to introduce a portable DVD unit with a special car kit for easy mounting in the car.
Directed said it closed out the category early this year. Video product manager James Turner noted, “The market went downhill, and price compression made it unfeasible. The products were getting cheaper,” to under 20-point margins, he said. Directed is examining “tablet type” DVD players instead, he said.
Al & Ed's Autosound, Van Nuys, Calif., said it left the market two or three years ago because consumers would buy the portables for a road trip and then return them within Al & Ed's 30-day limit. Purchasing manager John Haynes said, “We became a destination for these video in a bag units, and it really depleted our salable inventory.”
Dual said its sales of video in a bag type products remain strong. Senior product planning VP Matt Vinson said sales are still healthy at mass merchants and less so at dealers who install products. “If you go today to a Wal-Mart or a Target or Kmart, their selection is largely geared to the video in a bag type of product and it has been successful in those stores.”
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