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Dealers, Distributors Brace For CE Shortages


– Retailers and distributors have been
in contact with their suppliers, and while they are
bracing for possible shortages and/or price increases,
none have surfaced as yet.

Those contacted by TWICE last
week did not mention suppliers by
name, but problems could begin as
early as the spring or by midyear.

One top retail executive told
TWICE last week that he has been
in touch with suppliers daily and
they are “trying to figure out where
to get auxiliary parts.” He has no prediction as to
how long it will last but expects “to see some shortages
by May.”

Jay Buchanan, electronics division director, Nebraska
Furniture Mart (NFM), said, “Yes, there is an
impact, and we learn more every day. The industry
and NFM will feel the impact as the current inventory
supply exhausts in specific categories, such as
d-SLR and others.”

Mike Abt, president, Abt Electronics, told TWICE
his suppliers are “still unsure” about possible shortages,
and added, “The TV guys will be fine — there’s
plenty of inventory in TVs.” But he expressed concern,
like Buchanan, about the camera business.
“Manufacturers removed the instant rebates on d-SLRs once they saw the shortages coming.”

He added, “If there are [CE] shortages, this might
be a chance for the industry to actually raise prices.”

Mike Decker, electronics marketing senior VP,
Nationwide Marketing Group, said his vendors have
not reported shortages or possible price increases
either now or for the fall.

Gregg Richard, president, P.C. Richard & Son,
agreed, saying, “Manufacturers are giving us assurances
that there won’t be any major shortages.”

Jerry Satoren, senior VP/CE business development
with DSI Systems, said the distributor’s TV
vendors have not had shortages and there have
been no price increases, but, “our understanding
remains that the parts supply chain could possibly
be disrupted down the road, but there are no specifics.”

Curt Hayes, president of distributor Capitol, said
its suppliers have not been “specific about shortages.
As you know, the majority of the product we sell
is assembled in Southeast Asia, Mexico, some [in
the U.S.]. So, it’s a matter of parts shortages not finished
goods. I believe we may be 60 to 90 days from
understanding if there is an impact on availability.”

But a well-known top regional retailer told
TWICE, “All I know is that if you shut down silicon
chip production for two months, there’s gonna be
a problem.”