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.”


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