Tackle TV margins or lose more dealers, warns Retra CEO

More retailers will fall by the wayside if the industry doesn’t address the lack of margin in the flat-panel TV sector.

That’s the view of Howard Saycell, chief executive of electrical retailers association Retra, who was speaking at this year’s SES Ultra HD Conference.

“On average, our members make around nine per cent margin on a flat-panel TV. If you work out the overheads and associated costs, when they make nine per cent on the sale of a £550 TV, for example, they’re actually losing money on it,” said Mr Saycell.

“My big fear is that, unless we address the fact that the retail part of the chain doesn’t actually make any money, then we will lose high-street dealers and then where are people going to actually go and see all of these wonderful innovations and commit their money to it?”

He added: “We’re at a serious crossroads with retail in general. On a very cautionary note to manufacturers – the traditional way to bring new technology into the market is to have it on display in stores and to get passionate salespeople to demonstrate it and to be enthusiastic to the consumer about it. I don’t see how you do that online. Yes you can post blogs and videos, but a blog doesn’t really do justice to how it looks, how it sounds and how it will benefit your life.”