TWICE: Do you anticipate any shortages this quarter? Which categories might be tight?
Alexandra Harding, IMCE: We see potential shortages in entry-level flat-panel TVs, which may be driven by vendors attempting to mitigate the loss they incur in these models. Some mobile accessories may also experience tight supplies, as demand is up from recent new device launches.
Nevertheless, we work very closely with our manufacturer partners and plan well enough in advance to ensure that we have the right inventory in our advanced logistic centers at the right time.
Rick Wigen, Almo: Most TV manufacturers remain conservative in their production forecasts and incoming inventories, and we’re hearing that there may be shortages on 24-, 32- and 40-inch LED TVs from many tier-three suppliers. There may also be spot shortages on some 4K screen sizes.
On the appliance side, laundry and refrigeration inventory, which are the focus of most vendor promotions for the holiday, could be constrained, as retailers are increasing demand in advance of a potentially huge holiday.
Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing: New gaming consoles are rumored to be in short supply, and some of the wearable models. Other than that, D&H has not heard of many shortage issues this season, other than a backlog of product coming into the West Coast ports due to container delays at docks in that region.
A smooth holiday season, as always, is heavily dependent upon the retailer’s ability to conduct planning and forecasting, especially in light of vendors having less domestic supply at their disposal.
Dennis Holzer, The PowerHouse Alliance: I don’t believe there will be many product shortages – provided you have forecasted and placed your orders. I think vendors are well stocked and will be prepared to ship all [orders] necessary. Dealers who wait until the last minute are likely to see shortages as a result of few vendors having additional inventories over and above what was forecasted and pre-ordered.
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics: Outside of limited Black Friday offerings, we don’t anticipate any significant shortages this holiday season for traditional CE product categories.
With that said, many new manufacturers launching emerging technology devices will have limited supply. Retailers that truly understand the benefits of the technology and how these devices work will have a clear advantage over their competition.
Curt Hayes, Capitol: This is one of the first times in years that shortages just aren’t a concern. Of course, an issue may in fact crop up, but from this vantage point inventories should remain healthy through the end of the quarter. Even TVs are readily available, which is something of an anomaly when compared to previous years.
Bill Stewart, Petra Industries: While we’re not currently expecting significant shortages in any categories, we believe as a distributor it’s our job to keep our customers supplied with inventory. We know they rely on us, so we take this responsibility very seriously and make every effort to communicate and maintain inventory levels to support our customers in all of the most important categories.