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Best Buy Anoints New 12V Guy

The word is out that Best Buy has broadened the role of Scott Hagen, its current director and merchant leader for home audio and video, to now include the post of director of mobile electronics, replacing Rob Cummins who left the company several weeks ago.

The reports are from suppliers. Best Buy has not responded to a TWICE inquiry on the matter.

That sigh of relief you hear is the 12-volt industry exhaling upon learning that the new director of mobile — meaning car electronics — is a known “hardware guy,” who is reasonably familiar with the category, as Best Buy, in the past has appointed directors with little experience in audio or video, let alone car electronics.

Hagen has been Best Buy’s director, of audio/video since 1995, according to Plaxo).

It’s no secret that car stereo could use a strong advocate at Best Buy. The retail giant has been downsizing its car audio selection even while its chief competitor Circuit City, exited the market leaving a half-billion dollars in 12-volt business (including installation, by industry estimates) on the table.

The hope is that Hagen might stabilize if not grow the category and put a return focus on nuts and bolts traditional car audio products.

Yes, the market has been in double-digit decline, but the weaker retailers are gone or near dead and so many of the stronger ones are seeing healthy 12-volt sales. Why not Best Buy?

The industry benefits from a big-box retailer that is committed to advertising and promoting the category. Let’s hope Best Buy takes the bait.