In a year where plenty of retailers have told TWICE, “Flat sales are the new growth curve” – or words to that effect – more times than anyone would care to hear, you’d think that it would be tough to find retailers of any stripe, especially CE retailers, to honor.
The CE industry didn’t go on vacation this year just because the worst recession since the Great Depression hit, so TWICE didn’t cancel our annual Excellence In Retailing Awards either.
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that in such a year proven CE retailers are the winners of TWICE Excellence In Retailing awards. Three repeat from 2008: Best Buy (Best National Retailer), hhgregg (Best CE/Appliance Dealer) and Apple (Best Vendor Retailer). Two of our other winners, Starpower (Best A/V Specialty Dealer) and Amazon.com (Best Consumer Direct Dealer), won in those categories in prior years.
All five retail organizations provided distinctive performances during one of the most challenging environments just about anyone can remember.
Our retail expert, senior editor Alan Wolf, with help from senior editor Doug Olenick, tell the stories of how this diverse group of award winners has been able to not only survive, but thrive, in this economy.
Two of our winners illustrated their thinking and passion for the industry recently.
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn commented on whether his chain had less competition (see p. 1) after Circuit City closed. “There is no shortage of competition,” he said, and he wasn’t talking about Wal-Mart or Amazon.com. “We compete against Disney World, restaurants – really any business that goes after discretionary income.”
And David Pidgeon, president/CEO of Starpower, told TWICE at CEDIA Expo that in today’s market, “you have to have the right products and right promotions to draw traffic. To succeed now you must be a better merchant, provide better products and fine-tune your offerings to your customers.”
And, before I forget, there is one more special Excellence In Retailing award to mention. It is presented to a company that not only handled the difficulties of this recession but plenty of other challenging times, such as World War II, the aforementioned Great Depression and even World War I: P.C. Richard & Son.
TWICE is pleased to honor this privately held and family-owned and operated electronics/appliance chain to mark its 100th anniversary in serving its customers in the New York metropolitan area.
Gregg, Gary, Peter and the rest of the Richard family, their suppliers and employees will celebrate this anniversary this Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York, benefitting its charity, the P.C. Richard Foundation.
Somewhere, founder P.C. and his son A.J. must be proud of the continuing excellence of the business that they started and their family still operates with distinction.
This column originally appeared in the Oct. 12, 2009, print edition of TWICE.