Overall Black Friday was the second single largest shopping day in history hitting $7.4 billion in sales, with Cyber Monday the largest at a record $9.4 billion.
Car audio dealers reported mixed results from flat to up by 20 percent over the year prior.
A big doorbuster was a mechless (CD-less) Dual Electronics deck with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at $149.
Several Pioneer decks were heavily promoted, although one dealer said Amazon undercut even the best deals offered by car audio shops.
Remote start was particularly strong in the North. Here are some key impressions from retailers.
One dealer noted that a Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX DVD receiver with a door buster price of $499 (compared to an every day $699) was undercut by Amazon, which sold it at $460. We saw the same deck on Amazon on Cyber Monday at $444.
Sound of Tri-State in Delaware, just prior to Black Friday said it was selling Rockford Power series subwoofers up to $400 off list price, in deals rarely offered by Rockford in the past.
SoundFX’s Mark D’Elia said Black Friday weekend sales were up 15 to 20 percent at the Rhode Island shop. The gains were in remote start while car radio sales lagged. Big movers were two-way remote starts at $299 installed and DroneMobile for $299, typically $369 and $349, respectively. Basic remote starts were also strong at $209 installed compared to an every day price of $269.
Tint World of Longwood, FL said Black Friday sales were even with last year. Franchise owner Pete Muller said dashcams at $99 plus $69 for installation were hot sellers. Amp and sub packages were also brisk movers from Phoenix Gold, Infinity and especially from JBL in a package of two 12 inch woofers, enclosure, amp and wiring at $249.
Muller sold the Dual $149 CarPlay/Android Auto deck (model DMCPA79BT) but mainly stepped up customers to a $299 Kenwood deck. “We ended up selling way more Kenwood’s at $299 than we did the Dual,” said Muller.
CarFi, St. Louis, MO said Black Friday sales were the same as last year with remote start selling well at $199 (installed) for a Directed 1-way model.
Stereo King with 5 stores, based in Oregon, was up 5 percent this year for Thanksgiving Week. When asked about Amazon’s aggressive pricing on car radios, Stereo King’s John Coleman said, the chain also offered a free backup camera and SiriusXM tuner (after $70 rebate) on all radios, overriding any price breaks from Amazon in total value. Plus the backup camera and satellite radio tuner are items which require installation, so the shop makes money on that side of the fence as well.
CarPlay and Android Auto radios sold well at Stereo King, plus a big change this year was an uptick in remote start by about 30 percent (even though Oregon typically doesn’t get snow).
P&E Distributors in Goodlettsville, TN said a PowerBass party pack was a strong seller. It included two 12 inch subwoofers, a separate amp, enclosure and wiring kit at $171. Also moving were subwoofer boxes with dual 15 inch woofers at $49.99 from SPL (a house brand for the Elite Distributor Alliance).
Dean Magnussen of Sound Warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah said Black Friday sales were up by high single- or low double-digits. He counts Black Friday season as two weeks starting the week prior to Black Friday. That’s a significant increase given November last year was the chain’s biggest November in its 41 year history. Apple CarPlay decks were strong starting at $279 for a mechless Pioneer deck. Rockford powersports speakers were strong and again, remote start was up this year as the area got hit with an early storm.
Top Photo: Distinctive Ride in Wasilla, Alaska