TWICE: How have pricing and demand been for large-screen TVs?
Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing: Large screen sizes are an area where displays are still performing well at D&H. Both Toshiba and Sony have come out with a model that is 84 inches in Ultra 4K resolution — although the price so far is prohibitive for the average buyer.
The display market is in a transition right now, waiting for the next big thing to cause an upgrade cycle, which will likely be Ultra TV. 4K content is already being offered in the theater setting, whether or not consumers are currently aware of it, with the influx of digital film productions.
Once the consumer is more acclimated to the higher resolution, they are going to want to reproduce that experience in their homes. Smaller screen sizes are already headed to market, which will prove a more realistic sale for the typical purchaser.
Curt Hayes, Capitol: The demand for 60-inch and larger screen sizes has been strong. Panasonic’s ST60 series, in particular, is drawing a lot of attention thanks to an endless stream of accolades [in media reviews]. We’re looking forward to the arrival of other exciting series, such as Panasonic’s VT and ZT lines, as well as Toshiba’s upcoming selection of 4K models.
Tim Coakley, Ingram Micro Consumer Electronics: Fortunately, we have established strategic relationships with the market leaders in the TV business. Our partnerships have allowed us to take considerable market share within the distribution channel and realize double-digit revenue growth year over year. Prices continue to decline, but a shift to larger screen sizes and consumers trading up the assortment line to TVs with better feature sets (smart TV, 3D, etc.), has held the overall ASP for the TV portfolio relatively stable.
Warren Chaiken, Almo: As larger screen sizes have become more affordable, consumers are migrating to panels that are 60 inches and above.
Over the past year we’ve seen pricing stabilize, production levels remain consistent, and a steady level of sales volume with the core brands. These factors indicate that this category will continue to be a strong seller. Tier-three brands, while hot sellers during the fourth quarter, are not seeing the same level of business as the top-tier brands.
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics and Jack of All Games division of Synnex: Consumers are still looking for a deal when it comes to large TVs. The demand isn’t as high as it has been in the past.
Dennis Holzer, The PowerHouse Alliance: Pricing and demand for larger-screen TVs, 60 inches and over, has been and remains strong, although prices and profit continue to fall. At street level, pricing in the market remains very consumer friendly and enticing. This has afforded consumers the ability to step up in size from what they may presently have. This trend should continue throughout the remainder of the year, in addition to new 4K product sales, which at this point only comes in the larger sizes.
Jerry Satoren, DSI Systems: Demand for large panels 60 inches and up continues to be strong and at this point is the only thing in the TV space that is creating a consumer “want,” rather than a “need.” And though the rate of growth is starting to slow vs. last year’s torrid pace, 2013 growth in these sizes is still very strong.
As for pricing, we have seen it creep down a bit this year as our vendors are trying to maintain their growth. However, we are pleased to report that so far we have seen more stability in year-over-year ASPs for this category than we have seen in a number of years. And the better news is that this pricing stability really characterizes the entire TV business. We welcome the sanity and hope it continues throughout the year!