Kenwood, Kicker Now on Walmart Shelves

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Now that it’s September, Kenwood and Kicker brands have arrived on Walmart shelves, as first announced in June.

Walmart car audio
Section of Walmart car audio display in Milford, CT (Click to enlarge)

Walmart is stocking two derivative Kenwood car radios at prices of $95 and $140.   With Kenwood’s entrance into Walmart, Alpine remains the only top car radio maker that is not at the mega retailer.

Kenwood noted this spring that it will not offer a full line of products at the mass merchant.  It said it made the difficult decision to enter Walmart in order “to sustain volume in a flat business environment.  We felt this was the most controllable and responsible way to do it, as opposed to online marketplace merchants,” according to Senior VP Consumer Electronics Keith Lehmann.

Walmart car audio display
Walmart display

The Kenwood models are the KDC-200U and KDC-400U.  As derivatives they have some cosmetic and small feature differences than models for other dealers.  And they will not be made available to the general network, Kenwood said.

The Kenwood KDC-200U is listed as a Single DIN AM/FM/CD/MP3/ receiver front USB, iPod.iPhone control and a remote control.   The step up KDC-400U adds a 3-line display.

Kicker models on display at a Walmart in Milford, CT include several speakers, subwoofers and an enclosed subwoofer.  Models include Comp12 and Comp 10, 12- and 10-inch subwoofers; a DS525 5 ¼ inch coaxial at $54.92; a DS68 6 X 8-inch coaxial at $64.92, a DS60 6 1/2-inch coaxial and a DS693 6 X 9 3-way speaker set as well as a DC10 subwoofer enclosure.

Source: CEoutlook

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6 Comments

  1. I like how reps and dealers like to piss and moan about lines going into mass merchants that they aren’t selling currently/haven’t sold in years anyways. 12v dealers need to remember that no matter what line is in WM or Best Buy (or whatever big store you’d like to blame here) the independent dealer will ALWAYS have the advantage in the 12v market. YOU offer customer service, technical support, the vehicle specific dash kits and harnesses (not the universal ones in the stores), installation and CUSTOM installation, product knowledge and I hope to God some actual sales closing skills. It is up to you to make every sale count. Capitalize on add ons and accessories. Sell them sound dampening material when you install a pair of speakers, sell them an extra USB to 30 Pin when you install a deck with USB on the front. The list is endless and depends upon your creativity and sales skills. Let’s face it, people aren’t running into your store and just throwing money at you for car audio like they did in the 90’s and early 2000’s. You HAVE to make the sale yourself. Be an order maker not an order taker. If anything, take a look at all the advertising that WM, Best Buy, SEARS etc etc do every weekend on print and email and capitalize on that. you have similar products but with better features and have the room to get aggressive and make a sale AND labor dollars. I’m hoping nobody takes offense to this, just a different viewpoint from someone else who has been in the game a long time, living in a county of over 500,000 people and one of the largest WM stores in the U.S.

  2. Kicker is becoming less important everyday because of the marketing direction they went down years ago. The Wal-Mart thing is not surprising as it has been something we had been expecting for some time. Kicker forgot who they were and what got them to this point, the independent dealers. If Steve wants to save the company from ending up like Orion, Precision Power and others he needs to take back control of the company that he founded, built and made. As for our company we have not seen a Kicker Rep, TR sales in over two years and have actually bought very little product just to see if anyone noticed. We qualified for trips and Kicker at one time was our go to line consuming over 80% of our floor space. Kicker will initially sell a lot of product through Wal-Mart and will even become dependent on Wal Mart sales, but eventually sales will fall and Wal Mart will do what Wal Mart does move on and destroy another one time good company. I really don’t think Kicker knows what is happening to their long term reputation and business model or what the consumer will think of them in five years.

    Kenwood and Kicker are just looking for one thing more sales any way they can get them. Kenwood has been sold at Walmart.com for a few years now. We made a call to our reps the first time we saw it there and they said, “No Kenwood would never sell to Wal- Mart!” Yea! Right! Kenwood has been playing games with Target and Sears for years. Why would anyone expect anything different from them now.

  3. Merchandised like a true professional. Those working sound boards and displays are first class. Our customers can now have the pleasure of experiencing the Walmart high end extravaganza (LOL). This is another example of Walmart trying to be a category killer. If they were really going to take this category serious they would have them displayed properly for the customer to experience (like there televisions displays). As I see it they are just throwing a Brand name onto a shelf and experimenting to see if it sells or not. If it doesn’t (which all of us know most likely it won’t) like so many before hand “Lighting Audio”. The names of these brands will have a long road to haul to be back to there high end reputation in the world of 12 volt.

    1. Thanks for the comments. Walmart does have a small demo board for some radios and I can see by the comments here, I was remiss in not posting a photo of it. So I’ve added the photo.

      Thanks again,

      Amy

      1. Amy they do have a small, very small display, but no Kicker products are in the display at either of our two Wal-Mart locations. The Kicker products are displayed in their original boxes on the shelves. I even asked an associated about them and his reaction was, “This must be their cheap stuff, If you want the good stuff go to ………………!” You just got to love those trained Car Audio Sales Associates.

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