Onkyo will start selling home audio products through Walmart.com in the coming weeks, reports Twice.
Twice, which cites an “email to sales reps and key accounts,” says Walmart will sell 12 home audio products from Onkyo, including select receivers. The products will not be available for in-store pickup.
Onkyo already sells select products online through Best Buy and other sites. And Walmart, which just last week announced plans to expand its technology offerings with “more high quality internet-ready home entertainment products,” also sells Sony and Teac receivers.
In the email, according to Twice, Onkyo national sales manager Joe Petrillo says all receivers and systems sold through Walmart.com will be less than $499 “to preserve our present business model and protect our business partners.” According to Twice, Petrillo also says “our competitors are and have been in negotiation with Walmart.com as well.”
Here’s more from Petrillo:
“With the addition of Walmart.com, nothing changes. Instead, customers who might have never been exposed to the brand will have the opportunity to get a small taste of the brand. They’ll research the brand. They’ll look for better products from Onkyo. Then, after their appetite has been stimulated, they’ll be visiting your stores or e-commerce sites for their main course ... If, when, this venture succeeds, and I have every reason to believe it will, you will sell more Onkyo products, and you’ll do it profitably.”
According to Twice, Petrillo says the value of the Onkyo brand won’t be hurt by the relationship with Walmart.
“In my opinion, a ‘brand’ loses its prestige in the marketplace when the products being produced are compromised from a build quality standpoint, no longer offer any demonstrable benefits vs. the competition, and lastly carry no ‘real’ perceived value to the consumer. None of these circumstances are present here.
“Changes in distribution and new business opportunities emerge daily. It’s the vendor, the manufacturer, the partner that approaches these opportunities with honesty and heavy consideration for their existing partners that make these opportunities a success on all levels.”
“[Suppliers] can choose to improvise, overcome and adapt to the challenges that the market place throws at them. Or they can choose not to and operate under the same business model as they have all these many years. For most, not choosing to evolve has meant a drastic decrease in sales and lost revenue. For others that have embraced change and diversified their business model, they have consistently yielded a positive sales/profitability result regardless of the economic climate and further more realized growth.”
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