Sunday, November 26, 2006

Big Retail Weekend

Black Friday has come and gone. I spent time at several retailers on Black Friday, as well as over the weekend. I noted that the stores were busy, and that the registers were ringing. I also noted that the “HOT” products were the Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation, and flat panel television of the plasma, or LCD type.

This is not to say that satellite radio was not selling. Actually, I noted a nice pace to the movement of SDARS units. What really impressed me though was the level of inventory of satellite radios. They were plentiful at all stores I visited. Both Sirius as well as XM had heaps of radios on store shelves, and in the aisles.

As it happens, I found myself visiting a few stores again today. I wanted to get a feel for how sales went. I was pleased to see some empty and thinning shelf space in Circuit City and Best Buy. Last year, there were spot sell-out conditions with SDARS. This year, I have not seen this as yet. Cause for concern? I am not really sure at this point. The inventory I witnessed was at least twice as healthy as last year, so having a variety of units left after the first holiday weekend seems to be fine.

The message boards will surely be filled with opinions on how well things are selling. I would say that the best thing to do is to stop into some stores for yourself and ask a few questions. Remember to keep the questions objective, and to not draw any hint or desired conclusion in your answer. Ask questions like, “Which satellite radio is the hottest seller”, or, “which service is most popular”, or, “Out of 10 radios sold how many go to each service”. If you want to get another opinion, swing into the install bays, and ask there. These guys are doing the installs, and are very familiar with which units they are installing.

Five weeks left, and then we will know the answers.

11/26/2006 10:34:00 PM

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