Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Merchants Laud New Pricing Policies, Mostly


Most merchants appear to
favor the unilateral pricing policies (UPP)
imposed on select new product lines, and
the tougher stance some manufacturers are
taking with MAP enforcement both on- and

“UPP and MAP policies are better for the
industry overall,” said Fred Towns, president
of New Age Electronics and Jack of
All Games, the Synnex distributors. “Better
profits can be realized by tightening pricing
variances, and protection of manufacturers’
brand integrity also helps lessen the commoditization
of CE products.”

Jeannette Howe, executive director of
Specialty Electronics Nationwide (SEN),
agreed. “The MAP and UPP programs have
helped,” she said. “The major video manufacturers
have finally realized they were eating
their young, and need healthy retailers and
custom installation dealers for their survival.”

Stephen Baker, industry analysis VP for
The NPD Group, believes the pricing programs
strike a good balance within the premium
segment. “As currently employed, they
allow for sufficient margins on higher dollar
value products and allow enough price flexibility
to meet demand, while not insulating
products and retailers from the market forces
that should drive pricing decisions,” he said.

But while PRO Group executive director
Dave Workman agreed that “UPP appears
to be working overall,” he questioned the
rationale of preventing authorized retailers
from participating in third-party reseller opportunities.

“All that has occurred is that the authorized
dealers are gone and unauthorized accounts
have taken their place,” he said. “No change
in market pricing on these lines has occurred
as a result. This is a very complex issue.”

declined to comment on
vendors’ Internet pricing policies. But

, the third-largest online-only nonvendor
CE seller, believes the programs,
thought well intentioned, are swimming
against a rising tide.

“Ultimately, Internet retail, and especially
mobile shopping, will continue to see hypergrowth,”
predicted chief marketing officer
Bernard Luthi. “Those that embrace new
shopping behaviors will survive, and those
that resist will fall behind the curve considerably.”