Stuff Lockdown, CE & Pro Audio Is Booming & The Cash Is Pouring In
Logistics and online sales are set to be critical according to retailers and specialist audio and custom install Companies after the hapless Dan Andrews Premier of Victoria was forced to move to level 4 lockdown due his Governments failure to bring the epidemic under control.
According to several distributors the past four months have been “Like Christmas every month” with mass retailers and specialist dealers reaping the benefit of both consumer demand and “cash pouring into the economy”.
Michael Henriksen the CEO of Qualifi said that he has had three record months and that he was currently sitting on over $4M worth of back orders.
Sean Mattiaccio the CEO of Melbourne based Klapp Electronics said that his business is booming” Ive always said that one of the biggest competitors to the specialist channel is overseas travel. It sucks billions out of the Australian economy into overseas. What we are seeing now is people spending on CE and audio gear instead of going overseas and this is set to continue for some time”.
The impact of COVID-19 has seen several Companies move to rationalise their operations.
In the UK, the impact of COVID-19 has led to the McIntosh Group and McIntosh Laboratory’s forming a JV with UK distributor, Jordan Acoustics.
The new operation called Fine Sounds is designed to promote the combined McIntosh and Sonus Faber brands in the UK.
Previously there were two distributors handling the brands.
Phil Sawyer the CEO of Synergy Audio the distributor of both the McIntosh and Sonos Faber brands in Australia said the move is “Not unexpected”.
He said, “It could happen here as Companies like McIntosh are looking to rationalise their operations and spread the risk associated with the distribution of products”.
The new distribution company – a joint venture between the high-end audio group and Jordan Acoustics, McIntosh Laboratory’s British distributor of 15 years marks the end of Sonus Faber’s UK distribution by which was carried out by Absolute Sounds who have had the business for 34 years.
Tim Jordan has been named a director of Fine Sounds UK.
Sawyer said that while business is booming there will be a time when the demand for premium sound and custom installs “will slow”.
One distributor said “In February we were concerned about debtors and slow payers. Come July and we have no debtors as the channel is flush with money”.
Several retailers are also expected to report record profits with their staff being paid by the Federal Government’s Job Keeper payments up until September.
One CE retailer said, “Back in March our sales were significantly down, and it had nothing to do with COVID-19, we back then faced closing our stores, this did not happen”.
“Then the Federal Government handed out Job Keeper money and we were able to stay open with staff salaries funded by the Government. This coupled with a boom in business has helped as our staff are being paid by Government subsidies”.
According to Paul Riachi the lockdown in Victoria has been “fortuitous” as he was planning to close his Rio Sound & Vision store for a major makeover.
“The builders are now in working and we have moved to selling online, when this is over, we will have a brand-new store and via our distribution operation new brands and several new products including Loewe TV’s.
In October, The Good Guys is set to start selling Loewe TV’s supplied by Riachi’ s distribution Company the Indi Group.