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Distributors See Opportunities In Changing Market

NEW YORK — Consumer electronics retailers have avenues for growth and profitability during 2014, but they will have to adapt to changing categories and changes in ways consumers like to shop.

That’s the consensus of distributors contacted by TWICE recently for this special first-half roundtable. Most of the executives are convinced that Ultra HD will have a positive effect on the overall TV market this year as well as highres audio products, especially for those retailers that can explain and demonstrate the advantages of these new technologies.

Home networking should finally become more of a mass-market product, with consumers finally seeing systems with security, lighting and energy management that are priced properly. For those retailers that don’t sell smartphones and tablets, the growth in those two categories will spur accessories sales.

And distributors are pleased about how unilateral pricing policies have been used in the marketplace, but warned that suppliers must be vigilant for some dealers that break the rules.

These executives were also not shy in sharing how brick-and-mortar retailers can compete against online retailers. One hint: Emphasize the advantages demonstrating products live, and try not to compete on price.

Those are just some of the highlights. The following is a “virtual roundtable” based on questions submitted by TWICE via email.