Impact on HiFi sales


I'm just curious as what holds in our future regarding buying, selling of used and new gear with our new "norm" . How many brick and mortar shops will be decimated? How many manufacturers will cease to exist or not be what they once were in a very short time?
My fear is that this niche, hobby, passion and obsession will fade except for the very well to do.
Just a thought regarding our new norm.we all face now.
Happy Listening
Mark
markum01
The fate of this hobby is the least of my concerns right now. 
#1, three easy payments
We will see many businesses close shop in many types of business. I think restaurants will be the first real casualty then others, Audio stores are not daily destination points.
Many audio stores that own the building and own the inventory will survive, but those that rent and floor will struggle the most.
I am with you three_easy.
Significantly large numbers of small business bankruptcies would call into question the health of commercial lenders.

And when the banks get wobbly, very bad things happen in the economy.
Well, it's too early to tell, I think. And I can't see the whole picture in possible dynamics. But it is unlikely to get better, though many people with sufficient funds are going to spend more time at home so they might be willing to upgrade even if buying by mail is the only possibility. Also, some expenses will go down in case just about everything is closed. Many already work from home with no loss of income for now..
I bought a spare computer but not thinking of audio upgrades right now. In fact, I upgraded substantially last year. But if we are forced to mostly just stay at home for months or a year, and the economy adjusts sufficiently, then I might save enough to entertain myself with upgrading something. So we should see soon enough.
Sure, this is not a big concern at the moment, but there will be another day and we don't want to arrive there with nothing but supermarkets and gas stations around us.
three_easy_payments
I would agree with you regarding your comment of "The fate of this hobby is the least of my concerns right now" 
But with that said this is a forum regarding many aspects of our hobby passion or obsession however you want to categorize it. 
This message was about the direct impact on HiFiNot bigger problems. We all.are very aware it the giant elephant that dropped a big #2 in the room.
Mark
I'm just replying to the topic title and not getting into the pandemic issue, as my niece is a Doctor involved in BC. 

I stopped at my local Dealer this morning and they were already working on their Government paperwork. I had ordered a piece from Gold Note in Italy back in December last year and he chuckled, nothing until at least August according to the Canadian Distributor...MAYBE...Alot of his gear unfortunately is from Europe. I was leaving as his partner walked in, not happy. So he can't order and he can't receive, as he contemplates closing before the Government shuts their doors. They are hurting and it's really only day 3 of what's going on with businesses here and he's normally closed Sun/Mon, its ugly, real ugly.

Just a small part I thought I would add, everyone stay well and health.



As we all think of ways to support our beloved local small businesses and chosen non-profits during this unprecedented mess, please keep small audio manufacturers and purveyors in mind.

Full disclosure: I am an employee of one such small manufacturer. It's unimportant to this discussion which one, just support the ones you love if you can.

Thank you.
+1 ntolson
The brick and mortar audio dealers are not the least (nor the greatest) of our concerns. It's all relative. We think about our families and friends during this crisis--but when your friends are in the audio industry, it can hit close to home.
When the virus runs its course, I'd like to be able to purchase audio gear from my local dealers. The producers of high end audio gear will not survive if their dealers do not. This is an issue because the luxury audio market is likely to have many months of highly reduced income. I want to be able to continue to pursue this hobby 8 months from now or a year from now. So, yes, I don't want anyone to get sick or die from the Corona virus and the health of all Americans must be protected as well as possible---among those are producers and sellers of audio gear .
It all depends on when and how we get a vaccine. The Imperial College in the UK project 18 months of an ever- worsening scenario without it. Therefore we need to divert funding and resources away from the non-productive militaries into healthcare.
Or perhaps it may be a boom for audio manufacturers? 
we love this hobby and care what happens to it; the notion that all cares must be ranked is not how humans work. To care about the fate of dealers is a tacit expression of hope we’ll get through this. 
Post removed 
I believe in American ingenuity, independence, hard work, and innovation. We will get past this.

One major move taken today by the administration was to remove the restrictions on doctors practicing across state lines. 

Frank
I would imagine small volume manufacturers will be hurt the most and many likely won’t survive this downturn, even with easy access to low interest money.  When consumers stop or slow their spending, manufactures and sellers of luxury goods (e.g., high end audio) always feel the pain first.  
tim_p
I ordered from Holland. As soon as they received delayed cases from China they pushed out product within days.
Not THAT ugly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y16xl8i4JiQ

#1 on MY playlist.....
1 trillion $ from Where.....our b*tts?  AGAIN?!

....just another miserable day in Paradise...🤦‍♂️🤨

Live through This.👍
People need to remember that this is a temporary new norm. We’ve seen pandemics come and go before and after the pandemic is over people always go back to living the way they did before the pandemic hit. Audio stores will still be needed so people can hear the gear before they buy, so I don’t see a big issue. But I will say that if you’ve ever heard the financial advice that says to have 6 months of expenses stashed away in an easily accessible account, this is why. Sometimes, listening to financial advice is really, really smart.
We have a crisis now keeping many at home. 9 months from now I think the hospitals will overloaded with new birth's....future audio listener's ?


P.S. those birth's won't be temporary! lol
Fuzztone, I'll let you tell that to several local small Dealers here that it's not so bad, would you like their phone numbers? Then again, you'll get a message service as they have officially closed their doors this morning. 
All I know is I would never never ever consider buying any audio equipment from China!! 
Unfortunately almost everything else is made in China including most all of our medications
This all has to change!
All I know is I would never never ever consider buying any audio equipment from China!!
Unfortunately almost everything else is made in China including most all of our medications
This all has to change!

If there is a silver lining, this is it
Most manufacturers would love to build in the U.S., or North America. If only customers were willing to pay the premium. The issue is mindset ... well and a long time to rebuild the supply chain.
@heaaudio 123
I would pay more! Because, boy are we paying for it now! What I've lost on my 401 I could buy the most killer Audio system available( made in america) of coarse. I love that Trump calls it what it is " Chinese virus" With my health issues and if I decide to go into town, I'm a dead man walking. Hopefully everyone is talking this pandemic serious and staying healthy, and be reassured it will be behind us soon
We have other things to worry about right now. 

That said.  NOW is not the time to buy.  I understand a desire to support B/M dealers particularly those who provide actual value added services, rather than being showrooms for drop shipping at MSRP.   There will be a leveling of the industry.  Some dealers and manufacturers will not survive.  Do you want to buy a new product from a company that goes bankrupt rendering void all warranties ?  Do you want to buy a new product from a dealer that goes bankrupt and will be unable to provide additional support ?   Of course not.  Better to wait.   There will be desperation sales from manufacturers, dealers....and people.  Bargains will be available. 

Be patient and focus on health and family. 

Then see how the audio market shakes out. 
iopscrl,

While I get your point, and it seems obvious, it is exactly this action/mind-set that directly leads to recessions and even depressions.

If you got the money, spend ... the economy needs you.
geoffkait

Straight out of dictionary.com which you could have looked up yourself.
temporary: lasting for only a limited period of time; not permanent.

Now that I have the joke part of my reply out of the way, how about a year or two at the most. You also could have researched how long most pandemics last and you would have found that almost all, with exception of the Black Death plague, last no more than 2 years. Interesting fact, virtually all people in the U.S. whose ancestors were in Europe during the time of the Black Death are immune to the plague due to specific immunity genes. Without those genes, the Black Death could have been even worse than it was.
The last time I attended the Capital Audiofest, I attended a talk from a long-time manufacturer (can't remember which one), who said he enjoyed the thirty or so years he'd been in business, and he predicted that about half of the audio brands available today would be out of business in 10 years.

When I attend my local audio club meetings, there are very few people who are not in their "golden years" in attendance.  Most of the young people I know are not interested in high-end audio equipment, couldn't afford it if they were.

I suspect that the larger companies like McIntosh, NAD, Bryston, KEF, etc. will be around, but that many of the more "specialty" brands won't survive.
Thank you Winnardt,
Hoping it is less time.
Will probably go two or three rounds before settling down. 
Anything under a year will be great . Under 6 months excellent. 

+1 Heaudio123  Please do not stop spending !  We need to lessen the impact and get back on track . 
I am in good shape stereo wise however this is very unimportant in todays world.
@ejr1953 
I suspect that the larger companies like McIntosh, NAD, Bryston, KEF, etc. will be around, but that many of the more "specialty" brands won't survive.
I'd hazard a guess that the bigger companies might feel the heat more than the latter. They have the dis-economies of scale and higher inertia to contend with. 
The impact on HiFi sales, ours or others, is truly not our biggest concern during these trying times. We are more concerned about everyone's well being and have taken measures to do what we can in helping minimize the risks.

That being said, as the owner of a small HiFi equipment manufacturing company, sales (for us anyway) are being affected in a negative way. All the shows we planned on exhibiting at have been either cancelled or rescheduled. We have cancelled all our scheduled auditions. Hopefully they will be rescheduled at a later date. No expose (to our products), no sales. I suspect this is universal with most small companies. Large corporations are not immune. The bailout of large auto manufactures comes to mind.

We are well positioned to financially survive this crisis. The reality is that there are other companies involved with our ability to provide products. For example: Our AMT drivers which we design and build ourselves require vendors to preform certain operations. A machine shop CNC machines the motor parts, a magnet company makes the magnets to our specifications, etc... Our concern is will our vendors survive the crisis? If they don't then we have to find new ones. Much easier said than done. Anyone in manufacturing know how important vendor management is. With the majority of our products and parts being USA built by us or USA sourced from US companies, sometimes finding US vendors is challenging. Yes, sometimes costs are higher but we wouldn't do it any other way because quality matters to us. I'm sure most small companies are in the same boat. Sorry for wandering a bit.

Please support small industry or we will loose all diversity! 

Stay safe at home and listen to lots of music!



  
..and there it is, straight from a small firm.👍

Arion, thanks for the view from the suppliers' side of the equation.

As a small company, we have our concerns as well.
Having contracts and work lined up that will carry us into the 4th quarter of this year, we're reasonably assured of 'staying alive'....🤞, of course.

Physical health and that of those we're working For...is another matter.
Two are municipal entities, of which we can generally count on....
Two others are in progress; all that is left is 'follow-through' at this time.

Beyond that...we're all in the same leaky boat

Hang tough, good luck, and hopefully we'll see you on the other end of it all...

Chin Up, J
I’m a Primary Care Physician, but I’m also in my early sixties with  with heart and lung problems of my own.  So every day that I don’t come home with a sniffle feels like a reprieve, and after showering  and flick on my system  I appreciate it that much more, and worrying about the fate of this hobby is a pleasant diversion.
  Hopefully we survive this pandemic and there won’t be another one at least for a while, but given the realities of Globalization that is unduly optimistic.  I therefore think that a lot of people will be giving attention to optimizing the great indoors.  Dare I hope for at least a modest revival in surround sound and Home Theater?
Its great to have a wonderful high end system to enjoy while at home.Be well!!
No matter which party is in power , Wall Street pulls the strings .Any small audio firms  stock  on  exchange ?

What a selfish lot we are: audio enthusiasts. It's a friggin' hobby for crying out loud. When it comes to stimulating the economy, it's essentials people are thinking of, not stereo gear, unless you're fairly well off. 40% of Americans don't have $400 in the bank for an emergency and it's not from not listening to financial advice. It's from not being paid enough for their work. Welcome to the real world.

Sales of everything not medically or health related are going to tank if we keep on the same pace for the next year and a half. Plan on it. We're looking at upwards of 30% unemployment (worse case scenario).

Direct infusion of money into the economy is of major import, and it has to go directly to the people, who will spend 100% of it on essentials, rent, etc. which has the added benefit of preemptively curtailing crime, which some will resort to, to provide for their families. Tough times ahead, folks.

This hobby, like most, is a luxury. It will always be around but the ways we buy will change according to the times. It always has. Crises seem to bring out the worse in people and it's even evident in our hobby. If I want to lament something, it will be about something much larger, longer lasting, and scarier.

All the best,
Nonoise
I had the feeling that most people dont understand the new era we are entering...The health crisis, his duration, his consequences; and the economic crisis, his duration and his consequences...The global interaction mechanism between nations is broken not for some months but for years in his actual form....Globalization is finished in his past form.... Local imperatives reign for sure now.... How  will we create jobs tomorrow?  Not with audio products in a world without income...No buyers anymore...No customers for these years also.... Then we will reconstruct an industrial local economy.... Financial economy has no more future, real economy is the future....Trump wall street will go back in the limbo of history...


But before buying audio we must buy medical products for example...They will not comes cheaply from China anymore... 
nonoise

"40% of Americans don't have $400 in the bank for an emergency and it's not from not listening to financial advice. It's from not being paid enough for their work." While I mostly agree and wish I didn't have to point out which political party favors keeping minimum wage below the poverty level, I feel like I don't have much choice (hint: it's the Republicans). But there is some part of that 40% who spends their income on unneeded luxuries (including audio gear (wish I didn't have to include this one), expensive cars, cellphones, etc.) rather than properly establishing a rainy day account. Well, it's raining now and I hope they don't make the same mistake again after we get out of this mess we're in.
In Twin Cities Service jobs pay from 13 to !5$ per hour ..20$ a hour will not get you a decent apartment .Much less anything else .
I know a few people in and near New York City who make more than $100k a year and while they live well they are in debt, they don’t have $400 cash at any moment, though often they do more. Many people at all levels live beyond their means. Almost anyone can save at least $1 a day. I try to live below my means and usually I am successful. So, some will learn the lesson, others won’t. Most expect things to go relatively smoothly and predictably. Wrong. Now we can see it clearly. What the hell half the population is going to do if food prices will go up by 50% ?
Twin Cities is fine, try Manhattan and some other places in the area.
Modern American economics is designed to drain resources from most people. And most submit to it, often without even knowing it. People maybe selfish but even more they are submissive and stupid.
The food price will soar this year guess why? It is not the pandemics only it is the climate variability.... Australia know that....
inna, the Twin Cities are not fine , the apartment vacancy is .01 ,money from around the world is buying up apartment buildings , slappingsome paint on it and doubling the rent . For what you make here you are pushing NYC .
Ones averaging over 3k a month  , primarily for well  off able stock market elderly have be built to the tune of a over a thousand apts   built within 1 mile of my condo .   Same way all over this massive metro .The bubble of all bubbles ! 



The truth is and it's a bit depressing, I won't consider a purchase, because I am not sure I'll survive this. I'm over 70 with some health problems, so it's a real concern. Having said that, if anyone in my family is going, I hope it's me, not my kids or grandkids. Sorry, this is depressing.

Our saviour won't be a vaccine, though I think it will be here in under 18 months, it might be a treatment. Oxford University, near me, is starting a trial comparing HIV treatment, Dexamethasone and Hydroxychloroquine, on volunteer patients.  I suspect none will be a cure, but one or combination, may reduce morbidity and mortality.

 Let's at least hope, companies and universities,  share data and advances, not think about a profit. The UK seems near to finding a serology test, a blood test to see if people have had the virus and are immune, at least temporarily.

david12
I am 69 year old and think the same... I am more lucky for health but who knows future and impact of this virus even on healthy people...I will perhaps die long before you then you dont know... Keep listening music and keep the spirit high for your children... My own intuition says to me that you will be ok…. And I wish you that also...

Hydroxychloroquine was used by Chinese doctors with successs to diminished very very greatly the case of deaths...
The Mayo Clinic here is Minnesota is the best Hospital in the US .
They go so angry that made a test of their own in their labs in 3 weeks , It works .
The Mayo Clinic here is Minnesota is the best Hospital in the US .
They go so angry that made a test of their own in their labs in 3 weeks , It works .
WOW good news I like it....thanks...
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https://cults3d.com/fr/mod%C3%A8le-3d/outil/covid-19-mask-easy-to-print-no-support-filter-required