TWICE: Do you anticipate a more rational Black Friday period, or will it be another Wild West shootout?
Dan Pidgeon, Starpower: The industry has a better story to tell this year. We have more product and better technology and more things to talk about, so hopefully the discussion won’t all be about price. Hopefully there will be some sanity and it will be about more than just moving boxes for one weekend, although I’m not sure we have the discipline as an industry.
Mike Abt, Abt Electronics: It lasts longer, and people are better at planning for it months in advance, but everyone still acts irrationally.
Rick Souder, Crutchfield: This will be my 27th Black Friday in the industry and every year I hear that this one will be the most aggressive. There are lots of promotions but the totally insane stuff has lessened, and the really bizarre activity is limited to a few days.
It’s not a big part of the business for Internet retailers; we can’t afford to ship the real down and dirty TVs. We’ll have good deals, just not doorbusters.
TWICE: How are the UPP and MAP programs holding up? Any expected changes?
Tom Hickman, Nationwide: There are no major changes. Some manufacturers are expanding it in some lines, which for our members, given our DNA, we are fine with. UPP is their friend. UPP and MAP programs have added a sprinkle of sanity to the market.
Dave Workman, ProSource: I think manufacturers are happy with the way the prices are fashioned. I do think that manufacturers have to figure out a middle position to allow retailers to be merchants and allow bundle strategies so retailers don’t have to go out with the same exact offer as everyone.
But the market needs parameters. The consumer has been groomed for promotions, so retailers need to have some say on how they can make sales without going back to the Wild West days of cost minus 10 percent.