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Changes Abound In Specialty A/V, Part 2

In my last blog I indicated that changes abound in specialty A/V, not just for retailers but manufacturers too.

Yesterday we received a letter sent to the media from Paradigm Electronics’ Scott Bagby, chairman, and Tim Valters, president/COO, titled, “Paradigm Remains Committed to the Specialty Business Model.”

It is addressed “To Our Valued Partners” and starts with a paraphrase of the Chinese proverb, “May you live in interesting times.” Based on this rather unprecedented letter, and the other events in specialty A/V discussed here recently, this should all make for a very interesting CEDIA Expo in September.

Part of this letter discusses well-known market concerns, and a brief sales pitch. Here is the letter from Bagby and Valters. Take a look and let us know about the issues these executives are discussing.

“To Our Valued Partners:

There is a saying that goes ‘May you live in interesting times.’ Some say it is a curse, others consider it a blessing. Whichever interpretation you choose, there is no denying that we are definitely living in very interesting times.

The growing trend to eschew longstanding commitment to the specialist A/V retailer and join the parade of brands that have sought national retail distribution in search of greener pastures continues to send shockwaves through our industry.

For many dealers, the sale of premium limited-distribution brands is a major source of income that offsets the declining margins in flat panels and other commodity-driven products. The loss or significant reduction in that income couldn’t come at a worse time as every hard-earned sale matters more now than ever to the specialist dealer.

In times like these, it is important to know which partners are firmly committed to your ongoing success. Paradigm and Anthem are such partners. For nearly 30 years our alliance with specialist A/V dealers has been the cornerstone of our business philosophy. Despite recent market conditions and widespread closing of A/V stores, we have not shifted strategies or looked to other channels. During much of this time our sales have remained strong which we attribute to valued relationships developed over the years with our dealers and industry partners and to our continued efforts in providing innovative, high-performance, high-value solutions. Paradigm also remains focused on upholding its reputation as the top brand for price and value. No other manufacturer comes close to our record of winning this prestigious Inside Track Best Price/Value award twenty times. Now, more than ever, customers are seeking out those products and dealers that offer them true value.

Paradigm and Anthem remain the brands that best fit the specialty dealer’s unique advantage; we have the complete sound solution, no matter the aesthetic need. We continue with policies and incentive programs that support the needs of our dealers and partners in the industry. Paradigm is also the largest remaining specialty dealer option.

In the coming weeks and months we will introduce new, exciting products and business enhancement programs to build on our already solid foundation. We look to our supporters in the industry to join us in a firm commitment and ensure a vibrant and progressive specialist A/V industry, providing the best experience for every customer, every time.”