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TV Retailing Across The Pond

The sphere of U.K. retail is undergoing a lot of changes at present, and it’s fair to say that it’s as competitive as it’s ever been.

More and more customers are now turning to discount stores in an attempt to make their shopping budgets go further, and the popularity of such outlets is being further secured by the rising quality of these reduced products.

Because of such discount chains, other outlets have to compete hard to lower their prices, or risk being left behind and losing substantial customer interest. That’s not something that any business wants.

The success of discounted retail outlets in the U.K. that offer quality products is no new observation, as the Electronic World business approach has always conformed to this very model. We started small in 1985, expanding in the following years to provide a modest eBay service as our initial online outlet, but since then we’ve invested to achieve consistently high standards – such as by procuring a fully-responsive and purpose-built website from a professional company offering SEO services – to become the largest independent TV retailer in the whole of the UK.

We’ve forged our reputation by selling “graded” TVs, as we’ve found that such models are consistently good sellers in a retail climate that prioritizes bargain-hunting. Graded TVs are essentially new televisions that are unsuitable to be sold as first-hand stock, for reasons that include:

*being “end-of-line” stock;

*being former display models;

*being items returned with damaged packaging; and

*being clearance items, no longer wanted for a store’s inventory for any number reasons (i.e. – overstock).

When they initially encounter graded TVs, people may tend to think that they are being offered obsolete or outdated technology, but actually what they are getting is a nearly new (frequently around six months old) television at around half the recommended retail price.

What we’ve worked hard to establish is that graded TVs do not mean that you have to put up with poor quality or inefficient service. The Electronic World approach is to be a totally self-sufficient company that really does it all. For example:

*We buy our stock in bulk from all major U.K. retailers.

*We deal with all stock in our state-of-the-art TV processing facility.

*All of our stock is comprehensively checked and tested by fully-qualified engineers to ensure quality. We also leave our TVs running to establish their long-term reliability, and supply any parts that will be needed to get them in full working order again. Simply put, we don’t compromise our standards.

*We furnish all of our TVs with a one year warranty, and price them aggressively.

Our business model allows us to deliver anything other than plasma or clearance TVs straight to customers, no matter where they are, but for a real bargain you can pick your TV up from us to keep costs even more affordable. We have designated pick-up locations to make this easy to do, and these sites are all on major route-ways, so making a huge saving couldn’t be any easier.

What does this mean for the U.S. market?

The fact is that, even though the prices that are attached to new product stock are falling, Electronic World is leading the way as the largest independent supplier of televisions in the U.K.

Graded TVs, far from being a sub-standard option, are now quality-controlled to excel, and offer price reductions that can’t be ignored.

Because of this, many people who may have once viewed the sphere of graded stock with suspicion are now nailing their colors to the mast.

These points are not only applicable in the U.K. either, and it’s in the interests of the U.S. CE retailing industry to remember this.

Customers are now looking for TV retailers that offer them all of the very latest models on a budget, and it’s going to be difficult to deliver this unless you’re dealing heavily in graded stock.

We can speak from experience when we say that graded TVs are in great demand, and if anything that demand is gaining in magnitude, rather than being crushed by falling retail prices.

The way things are going it is very difficult to see that fact changing anytime soon.

Graded televisions are undoubtedly proving to be one of the success stories in the current retail climate, and that applies to global retail just as much as it does to our own U.K.-specific market. It’s probable that graded TVs are going to become more and more influential in the U.S. as well in the near future, just as we’ve seen on U.K. shores, so there is a real need to take them seriously.

Customers want quality and affordability, not one or the other, and graded stock can easily deliver exactly those requirements.

Russell Eliott is marketing manager for Electronic World, The TV Specialists, a leading online U.K. CE retailer specializing in “graded” television products.