How do you hold a sale when you barely have product to fill the shelves? This holiday season, many dealers are betting that consumers will be happy enough to find the products they want, let alone, at a discounted price.
Some retailers are planning holiday promotions that simply state how many of a popular head unit or amplifier they have in stock. Or they may run a few special promotions but less than in past years.
In fact, several dealers that had ordered Black Friday specials from key suppliers, still haven’t received them and so are abandoning some of their doorbuster plans.
“Were not putting anything on sale because I can’t get enough,” said Jodi O’Connor, General Manager of Jo-Di’s Sound Centers, CT. The chain will not promote Black Friday this year because it’s already booking out weeks in advance. Regarding price, the store tells customers “We’d appreciate you shopping local and doing business with us, but if you don’t take it today, it might not be here tomorrow.”
Rather than promoting deep discounts, Mark D’Elia of SoundFX is planning to promote “10 in stock or 5 in stock” of certain popular models. “So it’s not really a sale. I don’t think you’re going to find stuff online cheaper at Crutchfield and Best Buy, I think they’ll run out too.”
Overall, this year’s Black Friday promotions will be held over several weeks to avoid big crowds in the stores during the pandemic.
Ben King, Owner of Basin Tint & Sound, NM said, “We normally have a big successful Black Friday sale, but we won’t this year due to restrictions in our state… Also, we don’t have any product… we were able to get some good deals but most of that product still hasn’t landed.” Instead, the shop may try a virtual Black Friday, promoting Compustar 2-way remote starts on Facebook and Instagram. It will offer deals, say to the first 20 people who comment on a post. The plan is to invite consumers to leave their phone number or email or to send the shop a text. “We’ll capture more email addresses,” said King.
Audio One, VA with four stores tried a 4 page full color flier in the local newspaper on Thanksgiving last year; it didn’t work. This year it plans to focus on digital marketing and email. But due to product shortages, it’s not planning to advertise the lowest price. Instead, it is considering discounting by category; say all amplifiers off by xx percent.
The only discounts at Stereo West Auto Toys, NE this holiday on remote start will be under its Coats for Kids program ($30 off a 1-way remote start, and $50 off a 2-way if you bring in a kid’s coat to donate). Without a coat, remote start entry prices are $329. It will however pass on savings to consumers on some Sony Black Friday deals.
Stereo West allows purchasing on its website through the Big Commerce platform. So it will handle much of its consumer transactions online, limiting the amount of time the consumer is in the store.
Foss Audio & Tint, WA is also limiting discounting this year.
Sound Warehouse, UT spreads Black Friday over a three week period, as it has for a few years. It holds a preview sale, then a 5-day Black Friday sale, and then, on November 30, a “Black Friday Second Chance.” “I think we’ll be able to maintain our social distancing in the stores and we’ll cut back on media promotion,” said Dean Magnussen.