Custom Installers Say Business is Up
Despite the anemic economic growth and weak consumer spending in the U.S. during the second quarter, custom electronics installers at Azione's national conference this week said their businesses were up between 5 and 25 percent.
All of those interviewed attribute the growth to the willingness of higher-income clients to spend again based on what they see as a slightly stronger economy and more stable markets than a year ago. Several dealers pointed to an uptick in new home construction. But when it comes to the type of products and solutions that are driving business, barely any of the dealers gave the same answer.
That's not a bad thing, especially for a new buying group such as Azione, through which dealer members are looking for new product sets and solutions to drive growth, as well as new business strategies to increase overall business and boost profitability.
"It's not about how much business you do but about how much profit you make," Richard Glikes, the group's executive director, said during an overview meeting with the 30 dealers and roughly 30 vendors that attended Azione's first national conference, held in St. Louis, Mo.
Eric Thies, owner of DSI Entertainment in Los Angeles, said his business is up about 25 percent over last year. "The stigma around spending money among the rich seems to have lifted; they're comfortable spending," he said. "That pent-up demand among the high-end buyers is happening."
Bob Servos, owner of Deluxe Audio Video in the Chicago area, agreed with Thies and offered a simple answer to his company's 15 percent increase in business: "Rich people are buying again." On the product front, Deluxe has been selling a lot of separate projectors, as well as a healthy amount of Integra audio gear. "Customers are demanding more and better," Servos said.