Black Friday sales were soft at many car audio retailers around the country, in part due to local officials telling consumers to stay home over the Thanksgiving holiday to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Sales were also spread out over the month and there were fewer discounted specials.
Black Friday weekend sales were flat or down at stores including Sound Warehouse, UT; Car-Fi, MO; Car Tunes, MI; Sound of Tri-State, DE and more.
In the case of Sound Warehouse, owner Dean Magnussen noted, “We don’t have the total but we were off from last year—that’s Black Friday and Saturday.” However, the shop held a 3-day pre-Black Friday sale a few days before that saw better sales than last year. “So some of the money was spent earlier and also our Black Friday specials weren’t as aggressive as they’ve been in the past because of inventory….Then every legitimate news outlet out there was preaching stay home,” Magnussen added.
Car-Fi agreed that Black Friday “Was nothing to write home about,” in the words of General Manager Chris King. Car Tunes in Detroit said Black Friday “was slightly off or about the same.”
At Sound of Tri-State, store traffic “wasn’t what it used to be,” according to Mehdi Narimanian, however, average ticket sales were higher than last year. “Even with CarPlay, not too many bought the $249 models. We saw a lot of the 10.1’s in Pioneer and Kenwood,” he said.
Dealers also reported discounts on Sony CarPlay radios including one special with a free Sirius tuner and backup camera, when you purchase a radio
Audio One, VA, with 5 stores said Black Friday sales were slower than last year, but then again, the shop did not advertise this year. And if you compared sales to 2018, another year without advertising, sales were up by $3,000.
Attempting a different approach this year, Perfectionist Auto Sound, AK held a “Gray Wednesday,” instead of the usual Black Friday. The store promoted it heavily the day prior and did over $17K in sales that Wednesday, said owner John Schwartz.
Car Tunes of Santa Rosa, CA mainly sat out Black Friday, as did many retailers, even those who typically participate. “Black Friday isn’t special anymore. The Internet owns it…And especially with COVID, everyone’s home buying from home, and we’re booked out three weeks, anyway. There’s no point in discounting when you don’t have it,” added Michael Meza, referring to the industrywide product shortages.
Photo: Sound of Tri-State Black Friday 2015