By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Prices of personal navigation devices (PNDs) from top-tier vendors will fall to $99 for the first time on Black Friday, according to more than a half-dozen retailers and suppliers.
Last year, Black Friday prices from top-tier vendors Garmin, TomTom and Magellan fell to about $119 to $129.
Also this year, PNDs from second- and third-tier suppliers could fall in price to $59, compared with $79 last year, the polled executives said.
This year's Black Friday may mark the last chance for third-tier vendors to stake a claim in the maturing PND market, said industry members. The top three vendors now consistently own more than 80 percent of the market, statistics from The NPD Group show.
Mio, which has been aggressive during past Black Fridays, said it is "going to be aggressive but not stupid." Said sales and marketing senior director Kiyoshi Hamai, "There's been a lot of price compression. We're getting to a point where we're not going to see a lot of price movement on a day-to-day basis without someone deciding they are going to lose money."
Last year, said Crutchfield merchandise director Tom Bancroft, "We saw $99 with no profit. We'll see $99 with some profit and then some $79, and even $69 or $59." He added, "It will be really crazy."
Dominque Bonte, director of ABI Research, said there will be some restraints on Christmas pricing, partially because of TomTom's poor first-quarter performance this year, when profits fell 83 percent. "I think we've seen how much TomTom results have suffered from the pricing. I think they'll be more careful this time around. [But] it's still going to be there. They will try to produce a lot of sales in that period."
TomTom said it would not disclose Black Friday plans.
Neither would Garmin would, although a spokesman said, "We are excited that, like last year, we're able to offer a number of exclusive and compelling deals to consumers through many of our dealers."Retail-Level PND Brand Share
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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.