Will the expected $600 stimulus checks, that could go out by next week, create a second boom in car audio sales?
Some say yes, and some say the checks are too little, too late. Some retailers say the checks are so delayed in issuing that they will be spent on overdue bills. Others such as Pete Muller, Owner of Tint World Orlando, FL says, “I think it will probably help… If you are in an area where your sales go up any time there’s a tax refund, you will probably benefit from it.”
Freeman’s Car Stereo, NC and Race Sport Lighting, maker of automotive lighting, see the stimulus money as helping the industry, while Paul Papadeas of Soundcrafters’, FL says, “If the new stimulus is $2,000, you bet it will have a benefit. For $600, I don’t think it will be as great. When looking at a $600 check, they may just want to pay off a bill, but with $2,000 they think, ‘I can spend half on my stereo.'”
The House yesterday passed a bill to increase stimulus payments to $2,000 for most individuals, and it’s up to the Senate now, to consider the measure.
Of the $600 payments, Bashir Assi of Car Audio Express, CA says, “It’s too small, too late. I think people will be playing catch up, paying off bills and rent. We’re not expecting a huge boom like last time. If it were more, sure, people could use it for both bills and luxury items.”
Car Toys’VP of Merchandising Gregg Thomas weighed in saying, “Obviously stimulus will help everyone out in the retail world, especially our world, but…it’s a different time of year compared to the middle of the year [as in the last stimulus round]. I think we’ll know more in the next month, but at this point, I think any stimulus checks will assist in our business.”
The National Retail Federation welcomed the stimulus payments, noting, “The November retail sales report shows that consumers held back on spending, and more robust stimulus is needed to shore up our economy… a strong stimulus bill is critical to the continued recovery of the economy and the retail industry, which creates employment for 52 million working Americans.”
In November, retail sales fell for a second straight month, dropping by 1.1 percent, according to the Commerce Department. Retail sales for October were recently revised downward to a 0.1 percent decline.
The new $900 billion COVID bill, signed into law by President Trump on Sunday, provides $600 per adult for couples making under $75K annually plus an additional $600 per child. So a family of 4 might receive $2,400 in payments. It also provides an additional $300 per week in unemployment payments (on top of state unemployment payments) through the middle of March.