There are fewer deals as we head into Black Friday, of course, since there’s not much product to be had, particularly in star-attraction CarPlay/Android Auto head units. But that may give the specialist a chance to grab some of the spotlight.
Retailers said not a single top brand head unit supplier is offering CarPlay deals this Black Friday. However, some second tier brands are discounting. Epsilon offered a Black Friday special on CarPlay decks to dealers recently for 15 to 20 percent off. It was the first discount special from the company in two years, said VP Sales Ronnie Brashear, and it sold out in less than 5 days.
BOSS Audio is reportedly offering a $229 CarPlay deck (discounted from the usual $250).
Tint World is not promoting Black Friday specials in car audio at all this year, although it is promoting discounted services, mainly in other categories, according to Chief Strategy Officer Paul Pirro.
This is the first time in 50 years that there are no Black Friday specials at Jo-Di’s Sound Centers, CT due to shortages and the lack of deals from suppliers.
Since high end CarPlay decks are a rarity on store shelves, Sound of Tri-State, DE is using Black Friday to take pre-orders for high end Kenwood decks that are expected before Christmas.
Some specialists said they are simply too overwhelmed with business to invite in more so they are forgoing their usual Black Friday promotions.
Still other dealers are finding stronger sales than in past years the week leading up to Black Friday, as Americans were told to shop early, due to products being in short supply.
Westminster Speed & Sound, MD, for the past 20 years, has held a private sale the Thursday before Thanksgiving. It was a way to get people into the store before the Black Friday madness. This year the shop more than doubled its usual business on sale day and the following days. “It was hands down the busiest day and busiest week that we’ve ever had for any private sale. All we did was send out an email,” said owner Mark Miller.
Sales are up 30 percent over last year for the month of November at Custom Sounds, TX. The 22- store chain isn’t heavily discounting this year.
Sound of Tri-State is busier this year prior to Black Friday than in the past and Jo-Di’s is up.
Mehdi Narimanian said this year the shop’s strategy is promoting its role as a specialist. “This year, pricing is not king, it’s availability and having good customer service, having installers; that’s success with Black Friday. You see people waiting for $100K, $120K Tesla cars. They are not looking for deals; they are just hoping to get it before Christmas. When it comes to a specialist like us, price is not going to be king. Even mass merchants, might have some products and they’ll promote low pricing, but they are only doing it because they don’t have what Black Friday requires this year, which is having employees that can talk to consumers that are not overwhelmed and that want to talk to you,” said Mehdi.
Not all dealers are forgoing discounts. Mickey Shorr, MI is promoting remote start starting at $129 installed and Kenwood CarPlay at $349.