Black Friday Car Audio Sales Upbeat

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Many car stereo retailers reported single digit gains over Black Friday or the Thanksgiving Day weekend.

Custom Sounds Black FridayThe retailers who promoted heavily seemed to show the biggest gains. As a result some of the larger specialists and those affiliated with buying groups such as MESA were clear winners early in the holiday season.

BrandsMart U.S.A., Hollywood, FL was up 9 percent for Black Friday week compared to last year.  Mickey Shorr (16-stores), Pontiac, MI was up by single digits on Black Friday. Car Toys (50 stores)m  Seattle, WA saw gains in the high single digits over the weekend.  Custom Sounds, Austin, TX (16 stores) was up 37 percent for the weekend and Freeman’s Stereo Video, Charlotte, NC was up 5 percent.  Both the latter retailers are MESA (Mobile Electronics Specialists of America) members who attributed their gains to MESA’s sale-in-a-box, online key word promotions and email blasts.

MESA is holding a $6K prize giveaway to help drive traffic to its retailers’ Facebook sites.

“We had people lined up at the doors that opened up at 8 am,” said Jeff Pitts of Mickey Shorr.  It wasn’t an Apple-style crush, but there were 7 or 8 people waiting as doors opened at the stores.  The chain ran specials including $99 remote starters (installed) and a $39.95 Kenwood CD player plus a $399 Kenwood in-dash navigation deck. “It’s all about promotions,” said Pitts.

Car Toys noted its web traffic was up substantially as were online sales.

Sound of Tri-State, Delaware
Crowds at MESA member Sound of Tri-State, based in Claymont, DE

BrandsMart’s Francisco Lozano said “Bright spots were in opening price points of single CD indash car stereos and indash video.”

Custom Sounds attributed much of its 37 percent gains to MESA benefits. “Having the MESA Black Friday marketing materials pre-made for us allowed us to concentrate our time and effort on in-store merchandising and communication to our staff,” said Custom Sounds President Brain Dorsey.  MESA’s e-blast templates also helped drive traffic and the store sent out emails to customers on Wednesday afternoon as well as Friday morning. “Our reponse was outstanding,” he said.

The store also “brought deep” on promotional items like the Kenwood PW1210 package, Directed remote starters, Alpine coaxials, JL Audio JX amps, and Rockford Fosgate R1 loaded boxes so it was able to aggressively discount.   But as a specialist, the chain was able to step up customers so that doorbusters only accounted for 1.4 percent of sales, Dorsey said.  Also strong were accessories like radar detectors, window tint, Hushmat sound dampening, Sirius/XM satellite raio and back up cameras.

No all stores reported gains.  We spoke with a Midwest retailer who said sales were down, especially in in-dash navigation although his Christmas business doesn’t usually surge until mid-December with remote start season.

Source: MESA, CEoutlook

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1 Comment

  1. The trend for small independents has been forming for years; With massive promotions and smothering advertising budgets from larger better funded competition, small independents must compete on a different level. Promote early. Promote wisely. Promote what the competition cannot. And if your level of service and expertise is not stellar in every way, you will see sales continue to shrink.

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