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Clarion Cutting Brick-And-Mortar Car Audio Distribution In U.S.

Clarion will cut all brick-and-mortar retail distribution in the U.S. for its automotive audio products to focus exclusively on selling through online retailers Amazon, Crutchfield and Sonic Electronix, the company announced.

The company said it wants to align itself with consumers’ growing penchant to buy online. By selling exclusively through the three online retailers, the company “believes it will be able to provide a better product selection, greater service, and more competitive pricing to consumers,” a spokesman said.

For the past several years, the company said, retail sales “have shifted heavily from brick-and-mortar retailers to online sites such as Amazon. The driving force behind that is the consumers themselves who are looking for convenience, selection and competitive pricing.”

To “align itself better with this trend,” a spokesman said, “Clarion Corporation of America will now exclusively market its automotive aftermarket products through three of the leading online retailers, which include Amazon, Crutchfield and SonicElectronix.”

The company continues to sell on an OEM basis to automakers, and it continues to sell its marine-audio products to brick-and-mortar marine-specialty stores and to online stores.

More details will follow later today.

At 2016 CES, the company unveiled industry-first car audio products that send audio in digital form right up to a speaker’s voice coils.

Oh Canada: Separately, Roland Stebner, director of sales and marketing for Clarion Canada Inc., issued this statement:

“Amid the recent announcements of Clarion direction in the U.S., Clarion Canada Inc. would like to reinforce that this is strictly a U.S. decision. Clarion Canada Inc. will continue to wholeheartedly support our independent specialist dealers and distributors.
“Our recent investment in a new facility in Mississauga, Ontario, emphasizes our commitment to provide our dealers with sales, marketing, administration, customer and technical support, service and warehousing all under one roof. We are the only head unit company left in Canada able to provide this level of integrated service.
“Clarion Canada Inc. will continue to independently develop products that meet the performance requirements of our specialist dealers. We are excited about the upcoming release of our DSP equipped XC7 series of amplifiers. Our dealers should find these a powerful tool in the ongoing challenge of OEM integration.
“With our recent addition of Orion Car Audio and more brands to come in the near future, there are no plans to change our distribution strategy other than to increase our share of the market. To all our Canadian customers, we thank you for your continued support and look forward to a prosperous future.”