Stimulus Checks Boost 12V Sales

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A sudden surge in sales since late last week, due to the Fed’s release of stimulus money to consumers, was reported by retailers, reps and distributors this week.

Sales were up by 20 to 300 percent based on our straw poll.  The sales lift could last 2 to 3 weeks, not enough to make up for the full COVID downturn, but still a welcome improvement, guessed several distributors.

The regional stimulus money issued  at the time of Hurricane Katrina resulted in a 2 week boost in sales, said one distributor.

Retail franchise Tint World said its phones began ringing off the hook around the time stimulus money reached consumers’ bank accounts.  “I think people are so depressed, they want to spoil themselves,” said Tint World Executive VP Paul Pirro.

“Traffic started increasing towards the end of last week and over the week end,” said Dave Wall, CEO of Freeman’s Stereo Video, Charlotte, NC.

“It was like turning a switch on.  We had the best day of the year yesterday,” said Kevin Holder, President of Ultimate Marketing in SC.

Others saw their sales picking up incrementally over the past two or three weeks capped by a surge from the stimulus money. Kelley Vickers of Vickers AV in GA said, “Our business has been fantastic the past two weeks…The stimulus money started about a week ago. Before that, just regular business started going crazy.  For a good solid two weeks things have been fantastic. I would have never thought.”  Vickers sales are  now running only about 10 percent below pre-COVID levels.

The Wholesale House (TWH)  in OH, also saw sales start to pick up in the last few weeks with a dramatic uptick recently. The distributor is up 40 percent over the previous week.  As of Wednesday and Thursday last week, sales “blew up,” said TWH President Mark Yoder.

John Yodzis, CEO of Dow Electronics, FL said sales started climbing April 13.

George Smith of Mobileworks, Santa Monica, CA capitalized on the stimulus checks by promoting heavily on Facebook and Instagram over the past week, letting consumers know the shop is open, posting sales and specials and saying, “We’re here to help and make things a lot more fun.”  The shop is now booked a few days out and sales are up 25 percent.

One dealer reported booking two $1,200 sales, the exact amount of the stimulus payment per adult.

Other dealers said they are seeing more customers but lower end customers.

Some responses to a survey posted on the Mobile Electronics Syndicate included, “Our average ticket for Audio upgrades is $3500-$5000; for the past two weeks we have been giving quotes for $1000-$2000 audio set ups.”  Another dealer said, “Busiest month I have had since opening in October of 19. So not a lot of data for comparison but business is up 45 percent this month with only limited shop hours. Drop off appts only.”  Another said, “Tripled last month’s business,” and a fourth said, “ Slammed, it’s like tax season part deux.”

Photo via AARP 

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