So is BB the retailer Skull is struggling at? Popped in today and noticed headphones had been moved right in front as you walk in (best location in the store). First thing I saw was the beats display....it looked good. Sharing this prime real estate was the earbuds and I would say Skull had the most and best peg space. All this makes sense as beats over the ear and Skull in the ear are #1 in the market.
The other side of this shelf had more of both, which included skull mixmaster selling for 199....not on sale. First time I've ever seen these in a store, and at that price I will be buying a pair. They sounded awesome and felt great...first time for me. But the skull display was weak compared to Monster, Bose and Sony, so I assume they are not selling well here. All I'm saying is a new skull display with some of there existing headphones (crusher, mixmaster, hesh and aviator) along with a wireless jambox and maybe a wireless headphone would be very impressive. The sound, looks and price of Skul are difficutl to beat, just need a greatly improved store presence along with a coolness factor upgrade (packaging and impressive display). Did others hear Hoby say they are working on the floor displays?
But I noticed the consolidation. The major players were Skull, Beats, Sony, Monster and Bose. And Skull was weakest of these. Other brands were there, but had the least desirable shelf space. Sony display was new and looked good. For certain not too late for Skull, but they need to create a knock your sox off display that would include gaming sets. They have the quality, price and cool headphones, but don't have that overall cool vibe to grab your attention and want to make you look at their products.
It's a train wreck at BBY. No continuity of packaging, half the clearance racks jammed with Skullcandy products (ear buds as well as over ears). Pretty much no Point of Purchase displays (including gaming sets). Everything else discounted. Even worse, the ONLY POP display was (went today as well) missing inserts explaining the product on two of the four over the ear headsets. Just plain old white holders with Hesh and Aviators hanging on them. The Mix Masters were up but deep discounted by 100 bucks to 199 from 299 and to add insult to injury, there was a very nice end display dedicated to "professional studio and DJ head phones" elsewhere in the store.
I had to circle around a maze of high end POP's for Sony, Beats, Monster, Turtle Beach, Microsoft etc. to even find Skullcandy products. I saw a late teenaged kid and his dad and a BBY sales associate mulling over a Beats 300 dollar headset, with the kids mouth wide open, drewling and eyes wide, totally mesmerized by the impressive Beats display. This is WHAT Alden, Andris and now Darling taught as "the in store experience, creating excitement". That kid wasn't leaving (dispute his dad trying to steer him to other brands Sony, Monster etc.) without that Beats set! They spent 15 minutes (which is a lifetime for a set of headphones) staring at that display.
It is sickening how bad they messed up BBY, I hope they are doing something to change their image in those stores.... We will see...
Target was set up nice, they have done a great job at Walgreens and Shopko, Zumiez still has a nice POP as well.... But their number 1 customer BBY.... Wow... That's horrible!!!
face it.. the train has already left the station.... a significant percentage of their core consumer that they once owned has moved on to Beats .... trying to slice the market even thinner by saying we will own the "action sports minded" youth demo is clever but doesn't inspire confidence that revenues will be back over $300M anytime soon. The head phone accessory market is no longer a "secondary category" dominated by niche, irreverent $100M companies. It is now ruled by $1BN companies who bring major investment, technology and economies of scale to the category and i am afraid SKUL now lacks the scale needed to compete. Everything that HOBY preaches is predicated on narrowing their consumer and channel focus, improving their "story telling" and in store merchandising & improving their commercial spend effectiveness through digital. He is not wrong, he is just too damn late and lacks the resources & investor patience to pull this off. They get bought within 8-12 months to a larger, better capitalized company that either lacks brand relevance with this consumer or sees the need to develop a secondary / complimentary product assortment to manage the product assortment across multiple channels & price points. It is not easy maintaining your premium brand status as you expand distribution and address the shift to lower price points and SKUL could fit in nicely to an established player to help solve this problem. IMHO
Went to local BB, just got back and noticed the same. Poor product display. Why didn't they have the crushers featured to listen to? No wonder Hoby said the Crusher sales were a very small part of their revenue on the cc. Maybe they'll be on display by xmas.
Crushers are more unique then anything else SKUL is displaying at bestbuy. You need to be different when you compete and the Crusher bass its different. The hesh 2 and aviators are just another pair of headphones to normal people.
Also got a $250 jambox as a gift. Bluetooth is nice, but I am very under impressed with the sound, especially for this price. Alot of room for improvement in this market.....come on Skullcandy. get busy.