March 7, 2007 4:00 AM PST

Flat-panel TV makers sing the discount blues

LA JOLLA, Calif.--Vizio is making LCD televisions an almost-affordable option for middle-class consumers. It's also making life difficult for some TV retailers and name-brand manufacturers.

The discount LCD maker is one of a handful of smaller manufacturers many believe are driving down prices and profits for virtually all sellers and makers of flat-panel TVs.

The astonishing success of Vizio seemed to catch the industry by surprise last year, and was a boon for consumers who were in the market for flat-panel TVs but couldn't afford to spend a few thousand dollars on a premium LCD from Sony or plasma from Panasonic. But that discounting had a downside: frustration among electronics retailers and big-time grumbling from well-known TV makers like Sony.

The rapid drop in flat-panel TV prices was the topic du jour here at the U.S. Flat Panel Display Conference on Tuesday. Call it sour grapes or a plea from savvy executives who want their industry to show some restraint and avoid self-destructive discounting, but most executives at the three-day conference agreed with Steven Colky, vice president of merchandising for retailer Ken Crane's, when he said, "There are absolutely too many brands on the shelf."

"There are absolutely too many brands on the shelf."
--Steven Colky
VP, Ken Crane's

Of course, complaints from manufacturers and retailers about low prices aren't exactly going to gain sympathy from consumers, particularly when it comes to high-end items like flat-panel televisions, something many "never would have imagined (affording) in their wildest dreams," said Noah Herschmann, director of audio and video for Amazon.com.

Indeed, the prices of flat-panel TVs dropped dramatically last year, between 38 percent and 75 percent in a range of screen sizes, according to DisplaySearch. The rapid drop in prices alarmed many in the high-end TV business. Last fall, the price war among brands was like a "gunfight at the O.K. Corral," said Dave Workman of the marketing and merchandising firm PRO Group.

"What happened last fall was someone sent the sheriff on vacation, passed out pistols to everyone and said, 'Go have a blast,'" he said. "Retailers are often undisciplined when left to their own devices," he added, and major manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, LG and Sharp were not strict enough with their minimum price requirements as they joined in on the discount binge.

Though unit sales of television are actually up due largely to the great deals, some brick-and-mortar retailers are hurting. Many of them are operating on, as Ross Young of DisplaySearch put it, "margins thinner than Nicole Ritchie."

Those low margins are wearing on national consumer electronics sellers such as Circuit City, CompUSA and Best Buy. Circuit City announced last month it would be closing 70 of its North American stores and would restructure the company due to price-margin pressure in the flat-panel television market in the third quarter. CompUSA is taking even more dramatic steps, announcing last week it would shutter half of its stores in the next two or three months.

Best Buy has weathered the storm better than most, said Matthew Fassler, managing director of Goldman Sachs. The nation's largest electronics retailer actually raised its operating margins to 5.6 percent in 2006 from 5.3 percent the previous year by pushing hard with a high-end specialty home theater section called Magnolia, Fassler said. (Circuit City's operating margin, by comparison, dropped from 1.9 percent to 1.2 percent.)

But other specialty home theater retailers aren't having quite as easy a time of it. At Ken Crane's, the January average selling prices were "the lowest in years," Colky said. Unit sales are way up, but executives at the retailer worry they're carrying too many brands, he said. "I'd rather have two Samsungs and two Sonys" than a variety of no-names because of the promise of a better return on shelf-space, he said.

That's not to say the Sonys and Panasonics of the world are getting shoved aside. Amazon reports that the top sellers are still the premium brands, and not, in fact, Vizio. Of the more than 1,000 television sets it offers for sale, Amazon's top sellers Tuesday were, in descending order, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony and Mitsubishi.

That could bolster what many analysts believe: that the logjam of brands will eventually shake itself loose. "The market will work itself out," Bill Lucas, president of NPD's retail business group, told the audience.

The bottom line? Many at this conference believe the biggest manufacturers will in time do what they do in any industry, be it televisions, PCs or cars--reel in the discount competition. Eventually, they hope, the discounters like Vizio that are digging into their bottom lines will lose steam. It could take time, but they believe it will happen.

"As major manufacturers move into more parts of the market...second-tier (manufacturers) have less room" to grow, Crane said. "Sony is Sony, Samsung is Samsung."

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106 comments

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What the article neglects to point out is...
...the largest slice of the market share pie goes to "other", not any of the big name brands.
We've been this way before.
With PCs in the 80's and 90's.
HDTVs are effectively computers and manufacturers of the displays, especially the LCD manufacturers, have been adopting PC-style component supply chains and processes. In the process, they've created a marchant market for components and, whether they like it or not (mostly, not) they have adopted PC-market market economies and dynamics. That's where the price war is coming from...
Posted by -fjtorres- (226 comments )
Reply Link Flag
talkback posting interface buggy, guys...
Sorry 'bout the double post; it didn't acknowledge the first one so I thought it was too long and bounced.
Posted by -fjtorres- (226 comments )
Link Flag
What the article neglects to point out is...
...the largest slice of the market share pie goes to "other", not any of the big name brands.
We've been this way before.
With PCs in the 80's and 90's.
HDTVs are effectively computers and manufacturers of the displays, especially the LCD manufacturers, have been adopting PC-style component supply chains and processes. In the process, they've created a marchant market for components and, whether they like it or not (mostly, not) they have adopted PC-market market economies and dynamics. That's where the price war is coming from...
Posted by -fjtorres- (226 comments )
Reply Link Flag
talkback posting interface buggy, guys...
Sorry 'bout the double post; it didn't acknowledge the first one so I thought it was too long and bounced.
Posted by -fjtorres- (226 comments )
Link Flag
Poor Sony...
They are starting to lose the ability to over-charge for products. Poor, poor, Sony... They are having to cut Blu-Ray player prices in half, lower profits on their TVs, yada yada yada...

Funny how BJ's has a Sony 56' HDTV next to a Visio 56' HDTV with both hooked up to the same Blu-Ray player and demo reel. The Visio BLOWS away the Sony on picture quality.

Visio = $1600.
Sony = $2600.

Which would you buy?

The price is sustainable because Visio and Westinghouse have special arrangements with Manufacturers. I have a feeling Sony is going to have to pull in that belt.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Poor Sony...
They are starting to lose the ability to over-charge for products. Poor, poor, Sony... They are having to cut Blu-Ray player prices in half, lower profits on their TVs, yada yada yada...

Funny how BJ's has a Sony 56' HDTV next to a Visio 56' HDTV with both hooked up to the same Blu-Ray player and demo reel. The Visio BLOWS away the Sony on picture quality.

Visio = $1600.
Sony = $2600.

Which would you buy?

The price is sustainable because Visio and Westinghouse have special arrangements with Manufacturers. I have a feeling Sony is going to have to pull in that belt.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh, boo hoo....
What a ridiculous concept and article...

Flat panel TV's have enjoyed one of the longest periods of "early adopter price premiums" in history.... It was only a couple years befor CD players prices came down, while flat panel TV's have been outrageously expensive for several years.

When a good 50 inch model is $800 or less, I'll buy one, and no sooner. And when I do buy one, just out of spite, I'll buy the Vizio.
Posted by johnxtampa (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh, boo hoo....
What a ridiculous concept and article...

Flat panel TV's have enjoyed one of the longest periods of "early adopter price premiums" in history.... It was only a couple years befor CD players prices came down, while flat panel TV's have been outrageously expensive for several years.

When a good 50 inch model is $800 or less, I'll buy one, and no sooner. And when I do buy one, just out of spite, I'll buy the Vizio.
Posted by johnxtampa (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are we supposed to feel sorry for them?
So the retail stores can't control themselves in their pricing and run themselves out of business, is this our problem? The big manufacturers can't hold the big profit margins they want to satisfy their greed, am I supposed to feel sympathy?

I am a consumer, I want the best I can buy as cheap as I can buy it. That is the way it works, all technology, all products go through this. This is the way it works. There is only one industry that has been able to not go down this road, and that is the automobile industry.

Where is my $500 50" SED TV you guys promised two years ago. Yes, I know the answer to this question, but this is how we consumers think. I want a 42" flat panel TV for my house, that does 1080i or p, (it's HD what dumba$$ brought interlacing back into the picture anyways?) for under $1000.
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are we supposed to feel sorry for them?
So the retail stores can't control themselves in their pricing and run themselves out of business, is this our problem? The big manufacturers can't hold the big profit margins they want to satisfy their greed, am I supposed to feel sympathy?

I am a consumer, I want the best I can buy as cheap as I can buy it. That is the way it works, all technology, all products go through this. This is the way it works. There is only one industry that has been able to not go down this road, and that is the automobile industry.

Where is my $500 50" SED TV you guys promised two years ago. Yes, I know the answer to this question, but this is how we consumers think. I want a 42" flat panel TV for my house, that does 1080i or p, (it's HD what dumba$$ brought interlacing back into the picture anyways?) for under $1000.
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not just for spite...they're great TV's
Just go into your local Costco and compare the Vizios to any other TV at a much higher price. You won't buy it spite Sony/Panasonic/etc., you'll buy it because it's a picture at a great value.
Posted by zizzybaloobah (218 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not just for spite...they're great TV's
Just go into your local Costco and compare the Vizios to any other TV at a much higher price. You won't buy it spite Sony/Panasonic/etc., you'll buy it because it's a picture at a great value.
Posted by zizzybaloobah (218 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Embarrassment of (quote) riches!
"There are absolutely too many brands on the shelf."
Maybe then Sony, Sharp etc. should sit down and let someone else have a turn. Seriously, why should the new, low price makers be the ones to go?

"The rapid drop in prices alarmed many in the high-end TV business."
Note to elitists: This happens every time as your premium luxury products become commoditized and adopted by the mass market. You had a few years of sky high prices. Sorry you got used to them, but you're the idiots for thinking they would stay forever.

"Retailers are often undisciplined when left to their own devices," he added, and major manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, LG and Sharp were not strict enough with their minimum price requirements as they joined in on the discount binge.
Umm, so they created the problem themselves and were happy to join in... now they want to cry about it? Have these guys been haning out in the RIAA lounge too long?

"Though unit sales of television are actually up due largely to the great deals, some brick-and-mortar retailers are hurting. Many of them are operating on, as Ross Young of DisplaySearch put it, "margins thinner than Nicole Ritchie."
Yeah... perhaps you only made a point on the TV, but how much did that $100 HDMI cable actually cost you? Wasn't your profit on that somewhere around $99? So your profit on the sale that day is much higher than you're letting on.


"CompUSA is taking even more dramatic steps, announcing last week it would shutter half of its stores in the next two or three months."
Well it was a dumb idea for CompUSA to get into the TV business anyway. They should have focused on improving their computer business and maybe they wouldn't be closing so many stores. Best Buy sells crap for PC parts, but tons of TVs. CompUSA tried to muscle in on new ground and got stomped. Boohoo. Here in Michigan, with all but one CompUSA store closing, I hope well finally see the introduction of Fry's and the expansion of Microcenter - both far better than CompUSA.

"At Ken Crane's, the January average selling prices were "the lowest in years," Colky said. Unit sales are way up, but executives at the retailer worry they're carrying too many brands, he said. "I'd rather have two Samsungs and two Sonys" than a variety of no-names because of the promise of a better return on shelf-space, he said."
News flash: Prices on tech drop after the first couple of introductory years. Sorry you didn't realize that.
I'm sure you'd love to limit stock and options and sell only a couple of high profit models. What retailer wouldn't? But the internet has liberated consumers and we're not stuck with your decisions about what to carry any longer. Compete or close.


I can't believe these executives would allow quotes like this to be released to the public. Do they have any idea how bad this makes them look?
"We're having trouble fleecing the public and we're pissed about it."
rotflmao!
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Embarra$$ment
What he said!
Posted by bertmcginnis32 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Embarrassment of (quote) riches!
"There are absolutely too many brands on the shelf."
Maybe then Sony, Sharp etc. should sit down and let someone else have a turn. Seriously, why should the new, low price makers be the ones to go?

"The rapid drop in prices alarmed many in the high-end TV business."
Note to elitists: This happens every time as your premium luxury products become commoditized and adopted by the mass market. You had a few years of sky high prices. Sorry you got used to them, but you're the idiots for thinking they would stay forever.

"Retailers are often undisciplined when left to their own devices," he added, and major manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, LG and Sharp were not strict enough with their minimum price requirements as they joined in on the discount binge.
Umm, so they created the problem themselves and were happy to join in... now they want to cry about it? Have these guys been haning out in the RIAA lounge too long?

"Though unit sales of television are actually up due largely to the great deals, some brick-and-mortar retailers are hurting. Many of them are operating on, as Ross Young of DisplaySearch put it, "margins thinner than Nicole Ritchie."
Yeah... perhaps you only made a point on the TV, but how much did that $100 HDMI cable actually cost you? Wasn't your profit on that somewhere around $99? So your profit on the sale that day is much higher than you're letting on.


"CompUSA is taking even more dramatic steps, announcing last week it would shutter half of its stores in the next two or three months."
Well it was a dumb idea for CompUSA to get into the TV business anyway. They should have focused on improving their computer business and maybe they wouldn't be closing so many stores. Best Buy sells crap for PC parts, but tons of TVs. CompUSA tried to muscle in on new ground and got stomped. Boohoo. Here in Michigan, with all but one CompUSA store closing, I hope well finally see the introduction of Fry's and the expansion of Microcenter - both far better than CompUSA.

"At Ken Crane's, the January average selling prices were "the lowest in years," Colky said. Unit sales are way up, but executives at the retailer worry they're carrying too many brands, he said. "I'd rather have two Samsungs and two Sonys" than a variety of no-names because of the promise of a better return on shelf-space, he said."
News flash: Prices on tech drop after the first couple of introductory years. Sorry you didn't realize that.
I'm sure you'd love to limit stock and options and sell only a couple of high profit models. What retailer wouldn't? But the internet has liberated consumers and we're not stuck with your decisions about what to carry any longer. Compete or close.


I can't believe these executives would allow quotes like this to be released to the public. Do they have any idea how bad this makes them look?
"We're having trouble fleecing the public and we're pissed about it."
rotflmao!
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Embarra$$ment
What he said!
Posted by bertmcginnis32 (2 comments )
Link Flag
They planted the seeds... time to reap what they've sown
Maybe if the premium brands would stop treating $1000+ purchases like throwawy commodities, the public would be less inclined to purchase the throw-away brands.

I'm done with Sony forever. Six years ago when I and 5 of my friends were building home theaters, I was the go to guy for advice. I recommended Sony for their balance of features and price.
4 of those 6 Sony receivers either came out of the box broken or died within 2 years.

Do these people really think I want to spend $3600 on a TV only to find that my one year warranty doesn't help me when the TV dies in 3 years? If they view their product and not worth supporting, to be tossed when it dies a quick death, why shouldn't I go buy at the price level I can view as more disposable? The reason for paying higher prices is better quality - much of which is measured by longer life. I expect a $5 piece of junk from China to last 2 months. I expect a name brand electonic to last a good long time. Seems I'm alone in that expectation.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are not alone...
I always bought Sony stuff. I had a 10 year old Sony receiver that just now died after a good lifetime of trouble free service. They used to be good. My newer rear projection HDTV is another story. A design flaw in the thing requires all 3 light guns to be replaced if there is any problem with the TV. Each gun costs $1,000. They have been replaced every year since I owned the TV. If this was not covered under a retailer warantee I would be in a bad place. Especially considering, $3,000 is more than I spent on the TV brand new!

Sony engineers suck... plain and simple.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Link Flag
How 'bout time to stop buying crap?
As a repair technician I am a witness to the consequences of people buying very low priced flat panel tv's. Many people assume all flat screens are the same and then when they get them home they almost always says the same thing, "this pix looks like crap!" They ask me why and when I explain the reasons, they frequently comment, " so that is why it is so inexpensive".When it comes to pix quality, you get what you pay for. As for reliability, well more expensive products can, do and will breakdown after the warranty. You should have purchased an extended warranty on your Sony. Most consumer groups now agree with purchasing an extended warranty.
I wish you better luck next time!
Posted by zapotech (2 comments )
Link Flag
OTOH
On th eother hand, I expect the $5 piece of crap from China to last a lifetime, and the $1000 purchase to die in a month. But that is me.
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
The retailers over-hyped and over-priced these products and they are victims of their own greed.
They created an artificial demand for over-priced, under-performing TV's and, guess what?
The consumer woke up to it and wanted a better deal.
Posted by gdmaclew (158 comments )
Link Flag
They planted the seeds... time to reap what they've sown
Maybe if the premium brands would stop treating $1000+ purchases like throwawy commodities, the public would be less inclined to purchase the throw-away brands.

I'm done with Sony forever. Six years ago when I and 5 of my friends were building home theaters, I was the go to guy for advice. I recommended Sony for their balance of features and price.
4 of those 6 Sony receivers either came out of the box broken or died within 2 years.

Do these people really think I want to spend $3600 on a TV only to find that my one year warranty doesn't help me when the TV dies in 3 years? If they view their product and not worth supporting, to be tossed when it dies a quick death, why shouldn't I go buy at the price level I can view as more disposable? The reason for paying higher prices is better quality - much of which is measured by longer life. I expect a $5 piece of junk from China to last 2 months. I expect a name brand electonic to last a good long time. Seems I'm alone in that expectation.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are not alone...
I always bought Sony stuff. I had a 10 year old Sony receiver that just now died after a good lifetime of trouble free service. They used to be good. My newer rear projection HDTV is another story. A design flaw in the thing requires all 3 light guns to be replaced if there is any problem with the TV. Each gun costs $1,000. They have been replaced every year since I owned the TV. If this was not covered under a retailer warantee I would be in a bad place. Especially considering, $3,000 is more than I spent on the TV brand new!

Sony engineers suck... plain and simple.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Link Flag
How 'bout time to stop buying crap?
As a repair technician I am a witness to the consequences of people buying very low priced flat panel tv's. Many people assume all flat screens are the same and then when they get them home they almost always says the same thing, "this pix looks like crap!" They ask me why and when I explain the reasons, they frequently comment, " so that is why it is so inexpensive".When it comes to pix quality, you get what you pay for. As for reliability, well more expensive products can, do and will breakdown after the warranty. You should have purchased an extended warranty on your Sony. Most consumer groups now agree with purchasing an extended warranty.
I wish you better luck next time!
Posted by zapotech (2 comments )
Link Flag
OTOH
On th eother hand, I expect the $5 piece of crap from China to last a lifetime, and the $1000 purchase to die in a month. But that is me.
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
The retailers over-hyped and over-priced these products and they are victims of their own greed.
They created an artificial demand for over-priced, under-performing TV's and, guess what?
The consumer woke up to it and wanted a better deal.
Posted by gdmaclew (158 comments )
Link Flag
Commoditization marches on...
"Many at this conference believe the biggest manufacturers will in time do what they do in any industry, be it televisions, PCs or cars--reel in the discount competition".

Yeah, right! It's amusing to see how naive these guys are about their own market. In the global economy all electronics are manufactured by no-name factories in the Far East that must engage in cut-throat competition to get the business. Those low prices the middlemen pay must eventually pass on to the consumers because of cut-throat competition at retail. And once the low prices have reached the consumer there's no turning back--you're commoditized. It's happened to cars, cd/dvd players, stereo equipment, computers, printers, you name it. This is how a free market is supposed to work, and they can't control it (at least legally) or wish it away. No force on the planet will ever increase those flat-screen prices, the best they can do now is improve margin or take kickbacks from the manufacturers...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Commoditization marches on...
"Many at this conference believe the biggest manufacturers will in time do what they do in any industry, be it televisions, PCs or cars--reel in the discount competition".

Yeah, right! It's amusing to see how naive these guys are about their own market. In the global economy all electronics are manufactured by no-name factories in the Far East that must engage in cut-throat competition to get the business. Those low prices the middlemen pay must eventually pass on to the consumers because of cut-throat competition at retail. And once the low prices have reached the consumer there's no turning back--you're commoditized. It's happened to cars, cd/dvd players, stereo equipment, computers, printers, you name it. This is how a free market is supposed to work, and they can't control it (at least legally) or wish it away. No force on the planet will ever increase those flat-screen prices, the best they can do now is improve margin or take kickbacks from the manufacturers...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
Reply Link Flag
interlacing
is there to increase the effective resolution. you can go 1080i or 720p. HD is not some magic thing, just means that more data is being pushed to your tv than before. HD doesn't solve the problem of resolution since tv screens keep getting bigger and people are told they need to see more and more detail.
Posted by zboot (168 comments )
Reply Link Flag
interlacing
is there to increase the effective resolution. you can go 1080i or 720p. HD is not some magic thing, just means that more data is being pushed to your tv than before. HD doesn't solve the problem of resolution since tv screens keep getting bigger and people are told they need to see more and more detail.
Posted by zboot (168 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vizio is great.....Sony is expensive...
I bought Vizio 42" plasma in 2005 for $2,000 (now $999) and it works great....
Guess what? I will buy another Vizio plasma or LCD this year....not other brand.....
Sure Sony make good products but the price is tooooooo....expensive........
Posted by laptopseller (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vizio is great.....Sony is expensive...
I bought Vizio 42" plasma in 2005 for $2,000 (now $999) and it works great....
Guess what? I will buy another Vizio plasma or LCD this year....not other brand.....
Sure Sony make good products but the price is tooooooo....expensive........
Posted by laptopseller (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's an idea...
Try innovating, guys. I agree with those posters who talk about the early adopter price premiums -- look at the cost of 1080p sets in the recent past, vs. the plummetting prices of 1080i & 720p.

If these morons are so worried about falling prices of current technology, maybe they should focus on the Next Big Thing like everybody else. How about 2160i? And then 2160p? How about thinner, lighter, brighter, longer-lasting... all of these are things that consumers want and will pay a premium for (for a while). And I'm sure they're working on all of that -- they just like to complain in the mean time.

I just hate to hear comments from execs who should know better like "too much choice". That's something you hear from socialist neo-com Senators from New York.
Posted by Neo Con (428 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's an idea...
Try innovating, guys. I agree with those posters who talk about the early adopter price premiums -- look at the cost of 1080p sets in the recent past, vs. the plummetting prices of 1080i & 720p.

If these morons are so worried about falling prices of current technology, maybe they should focus on the Next Big Thing like everybody else. How about 2160i? And then 2160p? How about thinner, lighter, brighter, longer-lasting... all of these are things that consumers want and will pay a premium for (for a while). And I'm sure they're working on all of that -- they just like to complain in the mean time.

I just hate to hear comments from execs who should know better like "too much choice". That's something you hear from socialist neo-com Senators from New York.
Posted by Neo Con (428 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Low Margins on One Product Line Causes You to Close Stores?
As far as I am concerned Vizio is the free market at its best.

Why is it that a retailer has to close stores because of low margins on one product line?
Posted by SPasse (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better to cut stores than exec perks.
...
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
Re: Low margins
Because flat-screen TVs have become a very large part of the electronics retailer's business. And the markup could be higher because the price was so high to begin with, and because the low-price competition couldn't handle the big screens, provide installation, etc.
Posted by alflanagan (115 comments )
Link Flag
It['s an excuse!
the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

CompUSA [isn't that owned by the 3rd richest man in the world?] suffered from other problems, like phony rebate scams, 'loss leader' advertising for which no sale product existed even when the doors were opened 'the next morning', reluctance to honor warranty claims, arguing about exchanges, and generally treating customers as though they were as idiotic as the pimple-faced kid who thinks he knows better than anyone.

Old joke: What's the different between a computer salesman and a user car salesman?

Answer: the user car salesman KNOWS when he lying to you.
Posted by NoVista (274 comments )
Link Flag
Low Margins on One Product Line Causes You to Close Stores?
As far as I am concerned Vizio is the free market at its best.

Why is it that a retailer has to close stores because of low margins on one product line?
Posted by SPasse (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better to cut stores than exec perks.
...
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
Re: Low margins
Because flat-screen TVs have become a very large part of the electronics retailer's business. And the markup could be higher because the price was so high to begin with, and because the low-price competition couldn't handle the big screens, provide installation, etc.
Posted by alflanagan (115 comments )
Link Flag
It['s an excuse!
the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

CompUSA [isn't that owned by the 3rd richest man in the world?] suffered from other problems, like phony rebate scams, 'loss leader' advertising for which no sale product existed even when the doors were opened 'the next morning', reluctance to honor warranty claims, arguing about exchanges, and generally treating customers as though they were as idiotic as the pimple-faced kid who thinks he knows better than anyone.

Old joke: What's the different between a computer salesman and a user car salesman?

Answer: the user car salesman KNOWS when he lying to you.
Posted by NoVista (274 comments )
Link Flag
How else can Sony subsidize PS3?
One reason the prices of big names are high is to subsidize other money losing ventures like PS3, Digital Walkman etc.

And not to forget - bloated CEO paychecks!

Go Vizio go!!!!!
Posted by nreddyk (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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