Where do you shop for your consumer electronics? According to a new study by market analyst BIGresearch (as reported by TWICE), a survey of shoppers in the first week of March revealed that 35 percent shopped most often at Best Buy for their electronics, and another 20 percent picked Wal-Mart. Third place trailed far behind, with Target getting less than 3 percent of the responses, and then Sears close behind.
It’s sort of like the old Hertz and Avis car rental market of the past, where there was Number 1 and Number 2 and no one else mattered. With a combined 55 percent share of the buyer’s attention, Wal-Mart and Best Buy make it clear that bargains are the driving factor in choosing a store for your consumer electronics. Is it any wonder that Tweeter and Circuit City couldn’t make a meal on the leftover scraps? Can other consumer electronic specialty stores hope to survive — such as Radio Shack — when the two big chains control the majority of the market?
According the the BIGresearch report, Best Buy and Wal-Mart increased their share over last year at the same time, which says to me that it will only become more difficult for retailers to make any headway against these two. And for LCD TV manufacturers, it probably means that if they can’t get a distribution deal with one at least of these two retailers, they will find it difficult to get enough distribution to earn a significant position in the market.