Kicker will enter Walmart in September, according to a letter sent to dealers and signed by Kicker President Steve Irby.
The company will offer a limited number of entry level car amplifiers, speakers and woofers through Walmart from Kicker’s DS, DX and Comp lines.
The letter stated “Recently, we were approached by executives from Walmart, and after much discussion and consideration, we have decided to do business with them. With 3,800 locations and approximately 140 million consumer visits per week, Walmart has the unique ability to expose a limited mix of the current Kicker entry level product line to a very large segment of the American consumer base. These are consumers not likely to frequent specialty car audio retailers.”
Car stereo specialists “will have lines that are a clear step-up from Walmart’s offering,” said the letter.
Kicker also said that it plans to “accelerate” new product development. It will make a significant investment in research and development, and it plans to debut a new line of woofers, amps and speakers for specialists at the SEMA show this fall.
A Kicker spokesman had “no comment” on the matter.
The letter hinted at two reasons why Kicker made the difficult choice to enter Walmart. One, is that the company has made a sincere effort to shut off all unauthorized Internet discounting of its products. The Walmart deal would supplant revenues lost from eliminating discounters and help to ensure that Kicker is not discounted on the Internet.
Secondly, the letter said, the Walmart deal will help raise awareness for the Kicker brand.