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TWICE:There has been talk this quarter of spot shortages. Is there any tightness now, and do you expect a run on any categories for Black Friday and Christmas?
Mark Gustavson, WYNIT: Remembering the amount of unsold inventory left in the channel after the 2008 season, we must expect that manufacturers have made production adjustments accordingly. [Distributors] must “place their bets” on the amounts and types of available inventories to serve their respective customer bases. We have made significant strategic stock decisions to positively position ourselves for what we expect, recognizing that consumer confidence will drive demand again this year.
David Kaplan, DDG: In Q2, it seemed everyone ran short of flat-panel televisions, but the correction occurred before the end of the third quarter, and right now supply is good. I am expecting spot shortages in 32- to 42-inch LCD screens as we approach Black Friday and end of year, but on the whole I think supply will keep up with demand.
Wally Whinna, AVAD: So far supplies have been adequate to demand with spot shortages in larger screen sizes and top-line products, but they have been manageable. We have aggressively forecasted to be in an in-stock position and are anticipating our vendors to fulfill to those forecasts.
Mark Feinberg, ADI: We have not experienced any unusual shortages. We have a very open line of communications with our manufacturers and have worked very closely with them to forecast our inventory demands. There is a chance we may see the usual type of shortages of lower-priced flat panels as inventory shifts to retailers and away from the custom installation market.
Bill Stewart, Petra: As in past years, the flat-panel market will be tough this year, and the market will certainly feel the shortages. Remote starts tend to run short in the cold winter months too. Other than that, retailers need to stay focused on keeping the hot sellers in stock. Petra works closely with our manufacturers while planning for the fourth quarter. It is important for us to have the products our customers need immediately when they need them so they can have a successful season.
Rob Eby, D&H Distributing: In general, D&H hasn't heard about a lot of spot shortages. Manufacturers have significant inventory and are ready to sell, especially on the TV side. Printers and print engines might be the only exception where we've heard of possible shortages.
Dave Robinson, DSI Systems: We are seeing no shortages to speak of right now. We have heard that there will be a few holes going into the holidays, but right now our inventory levels are strong. In distribution, it is imperative that your inventory levels are at their peak in October. You want to be able to fill orders quickly going into the holiday selling season.
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.