Editorial: Brand Loyalty During Shortages

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Mr Retail

By Mr Retail

Let’s be honest for a moment. We all have our favorite brands to sell. It may be Squirrel Audio for woofers, RedSkin for amps, and Nakashima Audio for head units. How ‘bout them names? But here is the reality; almost all of the vendors out there are having serious product supply issues and they know it. You may be the person that is so hung up on some of your brands that you are losing sales left and right. Now is the time to rethink that strategy, even if just for awhile.

I want to be clear, I am NOT saying to lower your standards. What I am saying is this; if Redskin is out of amplifiers and Blueskin makes a good product AND they are available, buy them. Don’t blink either, or someone else will grab them. If you walked into my storeroom 18 months ago, you would find that 75 percent of the boxes would only be four brands. Nowadays, I may have 10 different brands on the shelf. You know why? Because I make zero money on backordered products. And neither do you.

What I did in my store was start looking at brands I may have never given the time of day before and now they are getting a closer look. I may have three different brands of small footprint amplifiers as I can’t get enough of them from a single source. Is it a headache? Yes. Am I making money? Yes. Enough said.

Are you a retailer that rarely buys from your local distributors? Or have you had distributors that are 2-4 days away courting you but never got a look based on delivery time? I would look at them now. I use a combination of direct business and distributor business to fill the pipeline in our store.

Finally, what I am NOT saying is to start selling flea market grade products just to have a solution. If you are a store that caters to an affluent clientele, you surely can’t offer them “4,000 watt amplifiers” that retail for $199. That isn’t your business model. But, that same brand may have a “limited distribution” line that is more upscale, doesn’t inflate numbers, and is decent product. Maybe take a look at it if needed. Don’t let your ego put you out of business. No one really knows how long these shortages are going to last, but many economists says it won’t be over soon.

About Mr Retail
Mr Retail will be offering opinions and information on car audio retailing for CEoutlook. He wishes to remain anonymous. He has owned a retail store in this country for over 20 years now. Mr Retail loves what he does and loves the 12 volt industry and is happy to share his hard won expertise.

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  1. As Al Brotsky (the guy who started it all) told me once: “I don’t like any product. I only like profits.”

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