Another one bites the dust. Last week, the Washington DC area electronics retailer, MyerEmco Audio Video, announced that it was going out of business. Lack of available credit was cited as a major factor in the company’s demise. The president announced that the store would sell remaining inventory at half-price, with larger discounts available as they near the end of their stock.
One of the keys to the company’s failure was the downturn in new housing. This may seem strange at first glance, but high-end audio/visual stores like this rely heavily on new construction of expensive homes, which often include extensive wiring and complex home entertainment system. With housing starts stalled, the company lost its new installation business. Many buyers economized by buying directly from big box stores, and handling their own installation. And with increase information available on the Internet, consumers need less help from the experienced staff of the dedicated stores like MyerEmco.
As I’ve said before, there will always be a niche for high-end system integrators and installers, but not only is that market not growing along with the increased demand for HDTV and other home entertainment products, it’s actually shrinking. MyerEmco is just the latest casualty, but it’s certainly not going to be the last.