Consumer Survey: Minis As Component Substitute

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Minisystems are bright stars in the minds of many home audio retailers because of product versatility that has struck a chord with a wide range of consumers, according to separate consumer and dealer surveys conducted by PolkVerity.

For instance, when asked whether they believe sales are likely to grow, decline or stay the same, 52% of dealers surveyed in the PolkVerity Home Audio Dealer Monitor said they expected minisystems to represent a growing share of their overall home stereo sales. Only 8% of dealers expected share to decline.

Dealers have become well versed in convincing consumers to consider a minisystem instead of traditional components or rack systems. In fact, PolkVerity determined that among dealers who carry minisystems, 48% believe it is either somewhat or very likely that they could successfully sway someone intending to buy components or racks into considering a minisystem instead.

Minisystems' appeal stems from two complementary trends identified in the study as pervasive within the home audio industry. Growing numbers of consumers say they purchase minisystems as a replacement for an existing stereo system, primarily traditional larger size components and rack systems. At the same time, a large segment of the market consists of consumers buying minisystems as supplements to their primary stereo system. These consumers are generally younger in age and often have experience purchasing multiple minisystems.

The tendency for minisystems to be used as replacement units is more prevalent among consumers in older age groups, the survey found. In the 45- to 54-year-old segment, minisystems are more likely to be used as replacement units (44%) compared to additional units (35%). This was also found to be true for people age 55 to 64 and 65 years and over.

In contrast, 18- to 24-year-olds are about two times more likely to say they would purchase a minisystem as an additional unit rather than as a replacement. Consumers in the 25-to-34 and 35- to 44-year-old age ranges are also more inclined to say they would use a newly purchased minisystem as an additional stereo system.

For more information on the home audio market and the PolkVerity Consumer Electronics Monitor, contact David Larson at (303) 292-5000.

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