TWICE:Looking ahead, when do you anticipate consumer confidence and the retail sector will recover from all of this? What kind of year do you expect 2009 may shape up to be?
David Weisman, The Advantage Group: I am not an economist and am therefore not qualified to answer this. My experience in past recessionary periods tells me this will be a long and slow recovery not a bounce-back recovery. [I expect 2009 will be] challenging. Perhaps not as challenging as Q4 2008 but this is a time to spend wisely and focus on the fundamentals of our business.
Trevor Hansen, Volutone: [I expect consumer confidence and the retail sector will recover] soon. It will be a year of making smart choices with the right vendor partners to stay ahead of the challenges we will face.
Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing: Being that it took a while for the country to get into this mess, it will definitely take a while to find our way out of it. In D&H’s 90-year history, we have experienced depression, recessions, floods and hurricanes, and have always kept our eyes focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dim it may have gotten. We have confidence that this temporary economic struggle is exactly that, temporary.
David Kaplan, Digital Delivery Group: Who knows when this will end? Certainly not me. I think the economy and the industry is in for a rough ride for at least another year. It means we’ll have to work harder and smarter to increase share and find new customers.
RJ Hirshkind, ADI: We understand there is a lot of uncertainty for 2009, but hope to continue growing our business. ADI remains committed to providing value to our customers and vendors. We will continue training our dealers, and expanding our product portfolio with leading brands, such as Sharp, Pioneer, Hitachi, Russound, Proficient, Denon and more.
Joel Blank, ArchBrook Laguna: Every year offers new challenges, but we remain optimistic since no one manufacturer can provide a complete solution to the channel and it’s a significant advantage that distributors can offer the right solution or combination of products along with the programs necessary to complete the sale. The ArchBrook Laguna team understands that flexibility and value are paramount to meeting the demands of the ever-changing marketplace. As a result, the company continues its dedication to integrity, customer service and added value while streamlining our fulfillment operations and allowing customers to scale their businesses seamlessly, which we believe will prove to be a true competitive advantage in 2009.