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  1. #1
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    Levi's at Walmart...my point...read on

    I have not posted much these days I have been reading lots not just on this board but many others. What I have noticed is that many speaker companies are selling their products at box stores. My point about Levi's at walmart is : theyare still Levi's made from the same company , yes maybe the lil tab on the back is a different color, but we don't knock someone down cause they bought them at another store and not a Jeans boutique.
    There are many speaker makers that make great products, sure they may have a lesser quality product in the box stores but that lesser quality product is by far better than alot of those , hmm how to be polite here.....plastic encased HT systmes than can be purchased for a almost nothing.

    To get back to my point now is that I am happy to see quality speaker companies selling their products to the mass market maybe in 100 yrs everyone will have a good system due to the fact that some peeps are intimidated to walk in to the higher end shops wich will sell the same speaker but at a tad highre price due to overhead and other factors.

    Now Im not saying get rid of all the high end specialty stores not at all, but good on the companies trying to sell their quality (but budget) speakers to the mass.

    I know this may cause lots of posts all I was trying to say was don't beat on the peeps who buy "mass market"
    The Furry White Poochundefined

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    come on admit it... you buy your Levis at wal mart don't you?

  3. #3
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Unhhhh

    Levi's has closed it's last factory in North America... Just thought you'd like to know that. As for speakers I buy American, but used American cept for the second unit cheepo BIC America speakers for the bedroom. But I couldn't pay new boutique audio store prices for anything so I don't.

    Da Worfster

  4. #4
    RGA
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    This is a ludicrous example. You're assuming that Levis was a good brand or better than competitors like Wrangler. The Jeans are the same crap but everyone paid more because of HYPE, Brand Loyalty and Price etc.

    It is true that some cheaper speakers are superior to more expensive ones but paying more in a speaker will yield advantages assuming it was designed well.

    Wal-mart selling it's equally good no-name brands added with more prestigious jeans from Vercace/Guess etc practically killed Levis forcing them to (GULP!!) lower their prices and go to Walmart. Then Walmart probably squeezed the crap out of Levis on the margins like Walmatrt does to everythig and crippled them some more to the point where if the above poster is correct you won't see Levis ten years from now...if that long.

    Polk Audio had a similar product....middle of the road speaker maker not bad not good. Was selling in the high end boutiques - far better British/EURO imports came in and ssome US makers kicked it up as well as Canada and The Boutiques dumped Polk...now they went to Future Shop and dropped the quality - some models are still good "VALUE" speakers - High end they are not.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    If I may be so bold

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    This is a ludicrous example. You're assuming that Levis was a good brand or better than competitors like Wrangler. The Jeans are the same crap but everyone paid more because of HYPE, Brand Loyalty and Price etc.

    It is true that some cheaper speakers are superior to more expensive ones but paying more in a speaker will yield advantages assuming it was designed well.

    Wal-mart selling it's equally good no-name brands added with more prestigious jeans from Vercace/Guess etc practically killed Levis forcing them to (GULP!!) lower their prices and go to Walmart. Then Walmart probably squeezed the crap out of Levis on the margins like Walmatrt does to everythig and crippled them some more to the point where if the above poster is correct you won't see Levis ten years from now...if that long.

    Polk Audio had a similar product....middle of the road speaker maker not bad not good. Was selling in the high end boutiques - far better British/EURO imports came in and ssome US makers kicked it up as well as Canada and The Boutiques dumped Polk...now they went to Future Shop and dropped the quality - some models are still good "VALUE" speakers - High end they are not.

    I think the underlying question between your take and Willow's is whether subtle market dynamics (who sells what where and why) will ultimately benefit mass consumers in the end. I think that is something that is really hard to predict. We should not underestimate or pooh-pooh brand loyalty. Faced with a selection between Sony speakers and Polk speakers of the same price, which will the untutored consumer pick? My money is on Sony. I think this can be a very compelling question, Willow, but perhaps impossible to answer, in the end.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    This is a ludicrous example. You're assuming that Levis was a good brand or better than competitors like Wrangler. The Jeans are the same crap but everyone paid more because of HYPE, Brand Loyalty and Price etc.

    It is true that some cheaper speakers are superior to more expensive ones but paying more in a speaker will yield advantages assuming it was designed well.

    Wal-mart selling it's equally good no-name brands added with more prestigious jeans from Vercace/Guess etc practically killed Levis forcing them to (GULP!!) lower their prices and go to Walmart. Then Walmart probably squeezed the crap out of Levis on the margins like Walmatrt does to everythig and crippled them some more to the point where if the above poster is correct you won't see Levis ten years from now...if that long.

    Polk Audio had a similar product....middle of the road speaker maker not bad not good. Was selling in the high end boutiques - far better British/EURO imports came in and ssome US makers kicked it up as well as Canada and The Boutiques dumped Polk...now they went to Future Shop and dropped the quality - some models are still good "VALUE" speakers - High end they are not.

    Good gawd, now you're an expert on the apparel industry as well. For a company that's been around for 150 years and that generates $4 billion a year in sales, Levi's is strugling with the same cost squeeze and massive retail shift that every other mass market apparel manufacturer is caught in. (I analyzed the apparel industry in L.A. a few years ago, so I know a little bit about this subject) Since 1997, the share of retail sales generated through mall-based retailers (which is Levi's main market base) has been cut nearly in half. General merchandise stores like Costco, WalMart, and Target have basically turned the established retail paradigm upside down, and that's why malls are struggling and why Levi's basically had to get into the discount store channel.

    If anything, Levi's efforts to maintain their N. American operations and avoid outsourcing until their losses started mounting is what kept the discount chains out of the picture altogether. Only by shifting to those cheap labor production facilities could they produce something low enough in price for WalMart to sell.

    Even so, WalMart and Target make up a small proportion of Levi's sales, so I don't see how doing business with WalMart will "cripple" Levi's and put them out of business within 10 years. (I mean, if going into WalMart means that they can't make money, why would they go into that distribution channel in the first place?) If anything, expanding into discount stores stopped the bleeding, and has helped maintain their market share. Your points about them reflect more personal bias than anything close to logical. (Levi Strauss is based in San Francisco, and is one of the city's bigger employers, so their ups and downs get regularly documented in the local press)

    The jeans that they sell at WalMart have cosmetic differences in the material and the cut from what gets sold in other department stores. And that's the same kind of between for example a Levi's 560 and a Tommy Hilfiger jean as well -- that and the price. I've looked at the cheaper Lee and Wrangler jeans, but I stick with Levi's simply because those other jeans aren't very flattering, and I don't believe in paying $100 for a pair of designer jeans either (even if the younger market sees value in that).

    Fashion is cyclical and for all of the various trends that have knocked Levi's down over the years, they have a uniquely iconic status, which is something you cannot underestimate. Wrangler, Lee, and other competitors do not have the same iconic status that Levi's does, and because of this Levi's always managed to come back despite often boneheaded moves by their mangement. Levi's would'nt have maintained their market position for 150 years if their brand status and consistent product quality didn't mean anything. I mean, how often do you see Jordache, Gloria Vanderbilt, or even Guess jeans anymore? Each of those brands had their moment in the sun, and then faded out when newer designers emerged. If anything, Hilfiger, DKNY, or Versace will give way to other trends long before Levi's goes away.

    As far as speakers go, it matters where they are sold only if the process of building the economies of scale necessary to produce product in mass quantity results in erosion of product quality. Or if the process of going mass market results in a shift in the types of products that they are able to distribute. Perfect example of this is JBL, which destroyed its long-established good will and brand loyalty within two product cycles of going mass market. But, that case had a lot to do with dealers dumping the brand en masse, not necessarily because the quality of products that they sold went down but because JBL was now doing business with the enemy. Losing their specialty dealer network meant that they no longer had distribution for their midlevel and flagship speakers, which are too expensive to be sold through mass market stores. And the newer lower priced products that got introduced for the mass merchandisers were inferior to what was formerly sold through specialty dealers. The perception of JBL as mass market junk stems from the fact that their best speakers are not sold in North America, largely because they fumbled away their dealer network.

    Yamaha's an example of a brand that was historically able to charge a premium over comparable mass market brands like Pioneer, Technics, Sony, JVC, or Kenwood by maintaining a presence exclusively with specialty retailers and regional chains. They decided to go into Sears and Best Buy about five years ago by rebadging their products with different model numbers and withholding the midlevel and flagship products from the mass merchandisers. So far, they haven't gotten dumped the same way that JBL did in the early-80s, but a couple of the dealers I've talked to are none too happy with Yamaha's strategy and the relationship is somewhat tenuous. Five years in, I haven't really noticed any decline in Yamaha's product quality, but if Yamaha dealers dump the brand like JBL dealers did, then Yamaha could find itself relegated to the entry level market with no outlet for their higher quality offerings.

  7. #7
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    A sales person in Tweeters told me last week that they are in the process of discontinuing the Boston Accoustics line ..... ;-(

    If that's true, I wonder who will carry BA

    Anyone else head anything about that ?

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omikey
    A sales person in Tweeters told me last week that they are in the process of discontinuing the Boston Accoustics line ..... ;-(

    If that's true, I wonder who will carry BA

    Anyone else head anything about that ?
    Wow, and Good Guys dropped them last year. That's two of their biggest distributors gone in less than a year. It made sense for Good Guys because Tweeter and Magnolia Hi-Fi had moved in on their core California markets within the last two years, and both of those competing chains also carried Boston. After dropping Boston, Good Guys picked up Monitor Audio. I would think that Tweeter's got an alternative in mind if they're dropping Boston from their lineup.

    Boston used to be a very viable alternative for shoppers who wanted something different than the dominant "West Coast," "New England," or "British" sounds that most speakers fell into at that time. And a lot of high end and chain stores alike stocked Bostons to fill out their entry level offerings. In a way, Boston took their eye off the ball, as a lot of the Canadian competitors moved in on their high end dealers, which left the specialty chains as their main market. Now, it looks like that's starting to erode as well.

    My understanding is that lately Boston's really focused on the car audio, home installation, and multimedia markets. Their car audio dealer network is much bigger than their home audio network, and they seem to have gained a foothold in that market, where there's less competition at their level.

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    can't verify it

    Well I don't know if what that guy told me is true. But I do know this.
    The 5 speakers that I was going to get were MSRP at $2100, they are now selling them to me for $1640 !!!!!!!!!! SWEET deal for me !!!

    I went to BA web site and they still show the $2100, went to Tweeters web site and they show the $1640.

    So here's one just a bit SWEETER .... My speakers were being transfered to the store about 120 miles from my house ... cause the local guy wouldn't deal ..... so the place I'm getting them from had worked a 10% disco for me .......... they called me and said the speakers are here, and we owe you a credit :-)
    So they took the $460 difference (from the 2100) and gave that to me :-)) and gave me the 10% deal that we had already worked out

    man, I've been working this deal for 8 weeks or more, but it's paid off for hanging in there ............. Know what you want and NEVER give up on getting what you want !!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Wow, and Good Guys dropped them last year. That's two of their biggest distributors gone in less than a year. It made sense for Good Guys because Tweeter and Magnolia Hi-Fi had moved in on their core California markets within the last two years, and both of those competing chains also carried Boston. After dropping Boston, Good Guys picked up Monitor Audio. I would think that Tweeter's got an alternative in mind if they're dropping Boston from their lineup.

    Boston used to be a very viable alternative for shoppers who wanted something different than the dominant "West Coast," "New England," or "British" sounds that most speakers fell into at that time. And a lot of high end and chain stores alike stocked Bostons to fill out their entry level offerings. In a way, Boston took their eye off the ball, as a lot of the Canadian competitors moved in on their high end dealers, which left the specialty chains as their main market. Now, it looks like that's starting to erode as well.

    My understanding is that lately Boston's really focused on the car audio, home installation, and multimedia markets. Their car audio dealer network is much bigger than their home audio network, and they seem to have gained a foothold in that market, where there's less competition at their level.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omikey
    Well I don't know if what that guy told me is true. But I do know this.
    The 5 speakers that I was going to get were MSRP at $2100, they are now selling them to me for $1640 !!!!!!!!!! SWEET deal for me !!!

    I went to BA web site and they still show the $2100, went to Tweeters web site and they show the $1640.

    So here's one just a bit SWEETER .... My speakers were being transfered to the store about 120 miles from my house ... cause the local guy wouldn't deal ..... so the place I'm getting them from had worked a 10% disco for me .......... they called me and said the speakers are here, and we owe you a credit :-)
    So they took the $460 difference (from the 2100) and gave that to me :-)) and gave me the 10% deal that we had already worked out

    man, I've been working this deal for 8 weeks or more, but it's paid off for hanging in there ............. Know what you want and NEVER give up on getting what you want !!!!!!!
    Very cool that you got the speakers that you wanted for a sizable discount. Hope this doesn't rain on your parade, but when Good Guys dropped the Bostons, they blew out their remaining inventory for half off. But, that was only for whatever they had left in inventory and all sales were final. It was quite a sight at one of their stores, they basically pulled all of their remaining Bostons out of the backrooms and pulled all of the demo units out of the demo rooms, and just piled all of them onto the showroom floor.

    Anyway, glad to hear that you got the speakers and the deal that you wanted. Now, just enjoy your system.

  11. #11
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Good gawd, now you're an expert on the apparel industry as well. For a company that's been around for 150 years and that generates $4 billion a year in sales, Levi's is strugling with the same cost squeeze and massive retail shift that every other mass market apparel manufacturer is caught in. (I analyzed the apparel industry in L.A. a few years ago, so I know a little bit about this subject) Since 1997, the share of retail sales generated through mall-based retailers (which is Levi's main market base) has been cut nearly in half. General merchandise stores like Costco, WalMart, and Target have basically turned the established retail paradigm upside down, and that's why malls are struggling and why Levi's basically had to get into the discount store channel.

    If anything, Levi's efforts to maintain their N. American operations and avoid outsourcing until their losses started mounting is what kept the discount chains out of the picture altogether. Only by shifting to those cheap labor production facilities could they produce something low enough in price for WalMart to sell.

    Even so, WalMart and Target make up a small proportion of Levi's sales, so I don't see how doing business with WalMart will "cripple" Levi's and put them out of business within 10 years. (I mean, if going into WalMart means that they can't make money, why would they go into that distribution channel in the first place?) If anything, expanding into discount stores stopped the bleeding, and has helped maintain their market share. Your points about them reflect more personal bias than anything close to logical. (Levi Strauss is based in San Francisco, and is one of the city's bigger employers, so their ups and downs get regularly documented in the local press)

    The jeans that they sell at WalMart have cosmetic differences in the material and the cut from what gets sold in other department stores. And that's the same kind of between for example a Levi's 560 and a Tommy Hilfiger jean as well -- that and the price. I've looked at the cheaper Lee and Wrangler jeans, but I stick with Levi's simply because those other jeans aren't very flattering, and I don't believe in paying $100 for a pair of designer jeans either (even if the younger market sees value in that).

    Fashion is cyclical and for all of the various trends that have knocked Levi's down over the years, they have a uniquely iconic status, which is something you cannot underestimate. Wrangler, Lee, and other competitors do not have the same iconic status that Levi's does, and because of this Levi's always managed to come back despite often boneheaded moves by their mangement. Levi's would'nt have maintained their market position for 150 years if their brand status and consistent product quality didn't mean anything. I mean, how often do you see Jordache, Gloria Vanderbilt, or even Guess jeans anymore? Each of those brands had their moment in the sun, and then faded out when newer designers emerged. If anything, Hilfiger, DKNY, or Versace will give way to other trends long before Levi's goes away.

    As far as speakers go, it matters where they are sold only if the process of building the economies of scale necessary to produce product in mass quantity results in erosion of product quality. Or if the process of going mass market results in a shift in the types of products that they are able to distribute. Perfect example of this is JBL, which destroyed its long-established good will and brand loyalty within two product cycles of going mass market. But, that case had a lot to do with dealers dumping the brand en masse, not necessarily because the quality of products that they sold went down but because JBL was now doing business with the enemy. Losing their specialty dealer network meant that they no longer had distribution for their midlevel and flagship speakers, which are too expensive to be sold through mass market stores. And the newer lower priced products that got introduced for the mass merchandisers were inferior to what was formerly sold through specialty dealers. The perception of JBL as mass market junk stems from the fact that their best speakers are not sold in North America, largely because they fumbled away their dealer network.

    Yamaha's an example of a brand that was historically able to charge a premium over comparable mass market brands like Pioneer, Technics, Sony, JVC, or Kenwood by maintaining a presence exclusively with specialty retailers and regional chains. They decided to go into Sears and Best Buy about five years ago by rebadging their products with different model numbers and withholding the midlevel and flagship products from the mass merchandisers. So far, they haven't gotten dumped the same way that JBL did in the early-80s, but a couple of the dealers I've talked to are none too happy with Yamaha's strategy and the relationship is somewhat tenuous. Five years in, I haven't really noticed any decline in Yamaha's product quality, but if Yamaha dealers dump the brand like JBL dealers did, then Yamaha could find itself relegated to the entry level market with no outlet for their higher quality offerings.
    Woochifer attacking without reading taking words out of context because he's just so pissed off for some reason - must have read the Current CR on the Focus and just can't admit he's wrong.

    Tell me Woochifer what exactly is that you do for a living you seem to work everywhere. Let me guess your some sort of survey analyst.

    Read the ****ing post carefully. Then you babble on about something entirely different. Levi's which was once considered an up-market jean is no longer considered as such - same for JBL and Polk audio. And they will NEVER get that title back. Yes it's all about public perception. Mercedes is considered an up-market car because it's expensive - they've been making garbage for 30 years - well accorduing to CR and the Lemon-Aid - but the PERCEPTION is there that it's a superior car - "German Engineering" like that means anything. If Mercedes started selling at Kia prices they would not house the perception amongst the rich and have the snob appeal - Levis in Walmart to stop the bleeding - Polk at Future shop to stop the bleeding is correct - it's a long slow death instead of a quick one. Read the post again and look for the word(s) IF and THE ABOVE POSTER and IS CORRECT.

    And you're admitting that they have bleeding to stop. Cyclical hogwash - support it with facts - since you supposedly have them reference them - you went to grad school and yet you post the most uninformative statistics that help no one.

    " WalMart and Target make up a small proportion of Levi's sales"

    Statistic referenced by independant? Walmart here outsells the rest of the mall put together I would bet. When you can sell Suede Jackets for $29.00Cdn versus the Lether store's $400.00 - grante the latter is a bit better but it doesn't LOOK better. If the former lasts 1/3 as long buy 3 and you're still ahead. Gee I wonder who sells more coats.

    "(I mean, if going into WalMart means that they can't make money, why would they go into that distribution channel in the first place?) "

    Well if they're such an insignificant portion of sales as you claim why risk losing a prestige name - why do they NEED Wal-mart? They would rather sell a Jean they can make $5.00 off and sell 300 over a jean they can make $10.00 and sell 10. Or take jobs and ship them to China. Either route does not help American consumers because if all the jobs leave you got nobody who can afford your wares. Ford knew that when the company was formed.

    "I don't believe in paying $100 for a pair of designer jeans either (even if the younger market sees value in that). "

    And? I have nothing against the Jeans...I own them.


    As for Yamaha - There is not a single hi-end dealer in British Columbia carrying Yamaha anymore - Future Shop bought them up. But then it's not like Yamaha is high end anyway.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Woochifer attacking without reading taking words out of context because he's just so pissed off for some reason - must have read the Current CR on the Focus and just can't admit he's wrong.

    Tell me Woochifer what exactly is that you do for a living you seem to work everywhere. Let me guess your some sort of survey analyst.
    RGA, don't start trying to make assumptions regarding my frame of mind because that's going into the personal rhelm, which is an area I try to avoid in our various exchanges. I stick with the topic at hand and don't bring other stuff into the mix. If you want to rehash old threads, then do it in the appropriate place, which is not here.

    Not that it's any of your business, but my job is economic development consulting, which requires that I work with economic data, survey data, real estate numbers, retail trend studies, industry data, SEC filings, demographic research, economic models and forecasts, statistical databases, and legal issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Read the ****ing post carefully. Then you babble on about something entirely different. Levi's which was once considered an up-market jean is no longer considered as such - same for JBL and Polk audio. And they will NEVER get that title back. Yes it's all about public perception. Mercedes is considered an up-market car because it's expensive - they've been making garbage for 30 years - well accorduing to CR and the Lemon-Aid - but the PERCEPTION is there that it's a superior car - "German Engineering" like that means anything. If Mercedes started selling at Kia prices they would not house the perception amongst the rich and have the snob appeal - Levis in Walmart to stop the bleeding - Polk at Future shop to stop the bleeding is correct - it's a long slow death instead of a quick one. Read the post again and look for the word(s) IF and THE ABOVE POSTER and IS CORRECT.
    Good gawd, calm down will 'ya? Your ramblings about Levi's as some sort of generic downmarket brand aren't really defensible. Can you name me any other brand that so personifies and defines its market? Harley Davidson is an icon with motorcycles, Zippo is an icon with lighters, Levi's is an icon with blue jeans. If you ask anybody off the street to name a blue jean brand off the top of their head, good luck trying to find too many people who won't name Levi's first, even if they wear other jean brands. Despite their financial troubles, they are still the market leader and the category icon, just as they have been pretty much from the beginning. That status is very rare and flies directly against your assertion that they will somehow disappear within 10 years.

    JBL and Polk do not have an iconic status in the speaker industry. Levi's has that status with blue jeans. You can bring all the irrelevant car analogies you want, but they do nothing to support your argument that Levi's is somehow ready to go away within the next 10 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    And you're admitting that they have bleeding to stop. Cyclical hogwash - support it with facts - since you supposedly have them reference them - you went to grad school and yet you post the most uninformative statistics that help no one.
    Oh brother, get off your little high horse and read an SEC filing sometime. I was making a point, not posting statistics or pulling numbers out of my backside. But, since statistics are what you yearn for, here they are. First quarter of this year, Levi's net loss was $2 million, last year it was $58 million. Net quarterly sales increased to $962 million from $877 million. So, how is this cyclical hogwash?

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    " WalMart and Target make up a small proportion of Levi's sales"

    Statistic referenced by independant? Walmart here outsells the rest of the mall put together I would bet. When you can sell Suede Jackets for $29.00Cdn versus the Lether store's $400.00 - grante the latter is a bit better but it doesn't LOOK better. If the former lasts 1/3 as long buy 3 and you're still ahead. Gee I wonder who sells more coats.
    Considering that the Levi Strauss Signature line got into WalMart and Target stores in September of last year, of course they don't comprise a major proportion of sales. They were successful enough to prop up sales at the end of last year, but the quarterly changes weren't big enough to figure that the Levi's lines that have gone into WalMart and Target now comprise anywhere close to a majority of their sales. Even if ALL of Levi's quarterly sales increases were due to their entry into the general merchandise stores, then it would still comprise no more than 9% of sales. Who knows how it will play out in the long run, but in the meantime, the company's probably in the best shape it's been in at least the last three years. As for your point about which type of jacket sells better, you should look at Consumer Expenditure Survey data sometime and see how people really spend their money before you start making numbers up.

    Are you an average consumer? If so, you spend $41/year on audio eq.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Well if they're such an insignificant portion of sales as you claim why risk losing a prestige name - why do they NEED Wal-mart? They would rather sell a Jean they can make $5.00 off and sell 300 over a jean they can make $10.00 and sell 10. Or take jobs and ship them to China. Either route does not help American consumers because if all the jobs leave you got nobody who can afford your wares. Ford knew that when the company was formed.
    Levi's needs WalMart and Target because that's where the retail paradigm has shifted. If you depend on the mass market (which Levi's does because they are the market leader, as does Sony because they are the market leader in most consumer electronics categories), then you have to follow where that market goes. Levi's is not a designer brand, but they are not a generic bottomfeeder brand either and their brand is worth a lot more than Lee or Wranger's are. Those brands in the middle have ALL had troubles fitting in with this dramatic shift in the retail climate. That's why midmarket department stores like JCPenney and Sears have had to restructure their companies to stay afloat, and why Wards went out of business.

    As I said, mall-based retailers' share of retail sales has been cut in HALF since 1997. Ask any real estate developer or commercial property manager, they'll tell you that malls are a dinosaur, others will go even further by calling the regional shopping mall an obsolete form of development (I don't necessarily agree with that 100%, but it has some truth to it). Ten years ago, Sears was the #1 retailer in North America. Now, it's WalMart, and Sears has dropped to #4 with their sales getting cut by about one-fourth during that time. Levi's retail base is with these mall-based retailers and their sales have gone down by nearly 40% since they peaked in 1996 at $7.1 billion. Their sales losses have tracked along the same trajectory with the decline in mall-based retailing, and the rise of big box general merchandise retailers like Costco, WalMart, and Target. If they want to retain market share, they have to follow their market.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    As for Yamaha - There is not a single hi-end dealer in British Columbia carrying Yamaha anymore - Future Shop bought them up. But then it's not like Yamaha is high end anyway.
    Yes, but Yamaha is analogous to Levis in that they are not a designer brand, but they're not a generic thrift store special either. Basically, they're one step above comparable mass market brands, and cost more because traditionally their product quality has been a step above the Technics, JVCs, and Kenwoods of the market; and in the current retail climate, that's the toughest position to be in. Plenty of high end stores around here still carry Yamaha, but as I mentioned, Yamaha's entry into the mass merchandise channel a few years ago isn't sitting too well with some of them. Their product quality hasn't taken a hit as a result, but if the higher end stores start dumping them like JBL got dumped 20 years ago, Yamaha may not have a market for their more advanced products.
    Last edited by Woochifer; 04-16-2004 at 06:56 PM.

  13. #13
    RGA
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    So your claim is that because Levi's is Icon product there is no chance they can go out of business? You still didn't address the fact of what I said. The other poster mentioned they were closing that plant - if that's the case where is the new one opening?

    In the 1980s it was all Sony and JVC and if you asked the person in the street to name two Audio companies those two would be listed. JVC went belly up and the name bought out by someone else. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Levis could not get into the same kind of financial trouble. Eatons in Canada went out of business and along with the Hudson's Bay Company were Canadian Icon stores. Eatons is gone.

    It's not ONE jean maker that Levis has to worry about - and my point BTW is not specific to Jeans so no I never said I was a garment expert - and you should have been able to tell but you like to change something I say into something easier to handle and generate straw man arguments.

    I don't care if What the item is or how big your name is you WILL FALL if you're not careful about what you're doing. When I worked at McDonalds WAY WAY back they laughed at Sub-Way. They claimed in meetings that for every SubWay store that opened McDonalds would open TWO. Then last year or the year before McDonalds closes 600 stores...they had NEVER shut down a restaurant in their entire history except for the ONE outlet where people had been shot. At other times they have moved their store a block or something for better location but never actually LOSING presence. 600 may not seem like much but SubWay is killing them. And here A&W is making a big push. Speaking of A&W they were the ICON fast-food joint - they're still around but a shadow of what they once were.

    Levis probably won't go out of business because they're so big...but their market share is and will continue to take a beating. They don't need to worry about Lee. But if you add 50 other brands and a new YOUNG market Image is everything. It's nice to say Harley Davidson - I know nothing about bikes - but are we all sure that every 16 year old fresh with their license is going to want a Harley over a Honda or those faster sleeker designs (Ninja?? or something?) Or is harley selling to 50 year old mid-life crisis folks who want to re-live the 60s? How is the Hells' Angels recruitment these days. Hell even as gangs go they're getting killed by foreign poweres in British Columbia - it applies to EVERYTHING.

    Just as Sony won't go out of business - but that does not mean another company won't eclipse them. GM and Ford probably Laughed and Toyota when they came out with they're little econo box rust buckets - look who's laughing now...Toyota is getting bigger and bigger as is Honda. GM, Ford and Chrysler? The latter being propped by Daimler and Ford with government saving their ass a number of times.

    Ford and GM are not likely to go under -but JVC did. Getting the mname bought out by someone else is the same. Wharfedale was number one in Europe in the 1980s selling more diamond speakers than everyone elses budget speaker. Belly up in 1990 and got bought by a Chinese company - smart move to keep the household ICONIC speaker name Wharfedale. Now it's Quad

    My point is this Levis is the step up brand (perception not quality) to the Wrangler's, Mark Work Warehouse brand etc. Levis had their own stores -- the Levi's store - sort of like JVC and Sony had for decades. But right beside the Levi's store you now have the Jeans boutique where you can buy SUPERIOR(percetption not quality) high fashion brands. Levi's can't compete because the kids who buy into most of the clothing don't want to be seen wearing boring old Levis - they want Tommy or some other more fashinable logo. The poor and those of us not conned into fashion will continue to go to the Wal-marts and buy the $15.00 pair that lasts 5 years and is just as comfortable if not more so than than the fashion labels. SO now Levis is between the rock and the hard place. Can't sell to the fashin constious kids and are too expensive forr the people who buy on PRICE.

    Walmart doesn't need Levi's Levi's needs Wal-mart - you are correct that is partly because Wal-mart and Target - not in Canada - are taking over Malls(not in Canada), Wal-Mart is attached to malls here - or even inside the malls. So Levis closed their stand-alone shops and have moved into Wal-mart perhaps as the higher line. But instead of the typical $49.99CDN price on the Jeans they are $24.99 where as Wal-mart brands ranged from $16.99 - $19.99. Levis had to drop their price because they can't compete on their name brand recognition.

    Sooner or later you WILL see Sony stores start closing as well. Any moron with half a brain who looks in the paper will see the 27 inch Sony TV at Future Shop for $479.00Cdn versus the EXACT same televion at Sony for $549.00Cdn - Sony will drop the price to $529.00 but it ain't good enough. And that applies to EVERY single item they sell. Like JVC - it's a matter of time before Sony is out of the shopping mall and into Wal-mart. But ONLY in Wal-Mart if they LOWER their price. And Sony will lower the price but if they don't want to lose any money - and they don't of course they WILL lower the quality.

    Wal-mart buys on price - they don't need Sony either Sony will likely need Wal-mart in the not too distant future because shoppers are getting smart.

    It use to be people would automatically buy Sony "because they're the best" I don't run into too many people like that these days(CR ranking their tv 9th against cheaper competition doesn't help).

    Yamaha is considered the A-LINE at Futureshop along with Harman Kardon. Sony is sort of the cheapo stuff(That was not the case before). I'm not saying this is true EVERYWHERE but it is here and it never used to be - the point is it starts slow and spreads...like SubWay...they're not a threat unit you wake up and they have more than twice as many stores lower costs and make more money and are number one all within 10 years.

    Pioneer here in the 1980s and 90s was HUGE - they sold at Future Shop and A&B Sound as the mid range reciever. Both stores dropped them. You're not careful you're gone.

    And I would not be surprised to see Matsu****a come along one day and buy em up like JVC.

    I would also say JBL would be the foirst or second name to come to people's minds when thinking of speakers - Bose as the other. How long will they continue to be #1 and 2 in sales? B&W has been moving up rapidly. People look at magazines and won't see good reviews of Bose enough times will see Energy and Paradigm and B&W advertising to the hilt and when they go to stores will see others not just Bose and JBL - sooner or later Bose will fall from top spot. Icons or not - if McDonalds can be de-throned anyone can.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    So your claim is that because Levi's is Icon product there is no chance they can go out of business? You still didn't address the fact of what I said. The other poster mentioned they were closing that plant - if that's the case where is the new one opening?
    Of course, any company has a chance of going out of business. Levi's was on the verge of going bankrupt in the 70s, not because of declining sales, but because they overinvested their manufacturing capacity in areas outside of their core products (e.g. they stuck with bell bottoms way after they went out of style). However, considering how much of the market they have always commanded, even in bankruptcy, the brand and the basic designs would still have retained value, even if the company came back in a completely different structure. Considering that they remain the market leader does not suggest that they will just go away. Even if their management completely fumbles away the company, Levi's is a strong enough brand such that I doubt that it will ever disappear even if the company in its present form someday does.

    Levi's plant closure in San Antonio has to do with them shifting their manufacturing overseas. They were one of the last major apparel manufacturers that still retained large facilities in North America. Their management for the longest time felt that their iconic status mandated that they retain manufacturing their jeans in the U.S. even after all of their domestic competitors had already gone to cheap labor facilities overseas. They were also one of the most vertically integrated apparel manufacturers, where they did very little outsourcing. As recently as the early-90s, most if not all Levi's jeans were still made in North America. As the rest of the apparel industry moved towards lower cost structures with overseas outsourcing, Levi's retained a vertically integrated structure. It was only when their debt load and losses started mounting that they threw in the towel and embraced overseas manufacturing and outsourcing.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    In the 1980s it was all Sony and JVC and if you asked the person in the street to name two Audio companies those two would be listed. JVC went belly up and the name bought out by someone else. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Levis could not get into the same kind of financial trouble. Eatons in Canada went out of business and along with the Hudson's Bay Company were Canadian Icon stores. Eatons is gone.
    There's a huge difference in that the basic blue jeans product has not changed for 150 years. Levi's is still making the same model button fly jeans that they were making around the time of the gold rush. Consumer electronics evolves very rapidly. Just compare the TVs now with the ones that were made in the 80s. Sony might be the only somewhat iconic consumer electronics brand out there, but none of the products that they make right now are the same as what they made in the 1950s. Levi's basic 501, 505, 550, and 560 lines have been around for at least that long and have remained basically unchanged.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I don't care if What the item is or how big your name is you WILL FALL if you're not careful about what you're doing. When I worked at McDonalds WAY WAY back they laughed at Sub-Way. They claimed in meetings that for every SubWay store that opened McDonalds would open TWO. Then last year or the year before McDonalds closes 600 stores...they had NEVER shut down a restaurant in their entire history except for the ONE outlet where people had been shot. At other times they have moved their store a block or something for better location but never actually LOSING presence. 600 may not seem like much but SubWay is killing them. And here A&W is making a big push. Speaking of A&W they were the ICON fast-food joint - they're still around but a shadow of what they once were.
    Again, a difference between fast food and apparel. A Big Mac from the 1960s is not worth anything (not to mention very rancid), but a pair of 501s from that same era can be worth a lot. Levi's has an iconic status such that their older jeans and other collectibles fetch high prices on the collector's markets. Very few companies have that kind of pull with their products. Coca-Cola, Zippo, Harley Davidson, and Levi's fit this category, and are similar in that their core product has not changed much over the years (until the V-Rod came out, Harley was still using a basic engine design that dated back to the 50s). Very few other companies can remain a viable market leader without constantly adapting to change. If you want a future collectible that's almost guaranteed to rise in value as the years go on, go to a department store and buy up every U.S. made pair of Levi's that you can find. As the remaining inventory of U.S. made Levis gets depleted, the collector's market will push the prices higher. It happens when Levi's made cosmetic changes to things like the labels, and when they shut down operations at the original Levi's manufacturing plant in San Francisco. I can't think of any other mass produced apparel product, aside from Air Jordans, that has this kind of pull on the collector's market.

    The Subway example stems from the fact that McDonald's does not have a lot of uncovered markets left, whereas Subway still has territories open for new franchisees. That's why Subway has gotten so much hype about their franchise value. Subway locations come and go on a regular basis where I live, while McDonald's closures just don't happen. On a sales per location basis, McDonald's I believe is still #1 among national fast food chains (definitely well ahead of Subway) and typically covers a larger market area than a Subway location does. A&W was never a market leader, and their current market push began when their fast food brand was acquired by the same holding company that operates Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC (all spun off from Pepsico a few years ago).

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Levis probably won't go out of business because they're so big...but their market share is and will continue to take a beating. They don't need to worry about Lee. But if you add 50 other brands and a new YOUNG market Image is everything. It's nice to say Harley Davidson - I know nothing about bikes - but are we all sure that every 16 year old fresh with their license is going to want a Harley over a Honda or those faster sleeker designs (Ninja?? or something?) Or is harley selling to 50 year old mid-life crisis folks who want to re-live the 60s? How is the Hells' Angels recruitment these days. Hell even as gangs go they're getting killed by foreign poweres in British Columbia - it applies to EVERYTHING.
    Levi's sales have gone down for a variety of reasons. For one thing, they've discontinued several product lines that were dragging down their financial position. At one point, they were making sundresses, swimwear, athletic apparel, optical goods, footwear, and a whole slew of other products outside of their core denim and khaki markets. The thing is that Levi's market share has taken a beating before (remember Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt?), but they've never lost their market lead. Levi's financial troubles in various phases have almost always stemmed from their efforts to move into other product lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Just as Sony won't go out of business - but that does not mean another company won't eclipse them. GM and Ford probably Laughed and Toyota when they came out with they're little econo box rust buckets - look who's laughing now...Toyota is getting bigger and bigger as is Honda. GM, Ford and Chrysler? The latter being propped by Daimler and Ford with government saving their ass a number of times.

    Ford and GM are not likely to go under -but JVC did. Getting the mname bought out by someone else is the same. Wharfedale was number one in Europe in the 1980s selling more diamond speakers than everyone elses budget speaker. Belly up in 1990 and got bought by a Chinese company - smart move to keep the household ICONIC speaker name Wharfedale. Now it's Quad
    I think you're using too loose a definition for what constitutes an iconic brand. Those types of brands can remain market leaders by making the same products the same way for years on end. Cars change all the time, speakers change, electronics change, the Levi's 501 has not, the Zippo lighter has not, Coca-Cola has not. JVC may have been a market leader for various product categories, but nothing that they made was so enduring that it would spawn a collector's market.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    My point is this Levis is the step up brand (perception not quality) to the Wrangler's, Mark Work Warehouse brand etc. Levis had their own stores -- the Levi's store - sort of like JVC and Sony had for decades. But right beside the Levi's store you now have the Jeans boutique where you can buy SUPERIOR(percetption not quality) high fashion brands. Levi's can't compete because the kids who buy into most of the clothing don't want to be seen wearing boring old Levis - they want Tommy or some other more fashinable logo. The poor and those of us not conned into fashion will continue to go to the Wal-marts and buy the $15.00 pair that lasts 5 years and is just as comfortable if not more so than than the fashion labels. SO now Levis is between the rock and the hard place. Can't sell to the fashin constious kids and are too expensive forr the people who buy on PRICE.
    Well, the thing about fashion is it always changes. The Hilfigers and DKNYs of today are the equivalent of yesterday's Jordache and Guess. Levi's core strength has never been about following trends. Where they get into trouble is when they venture into trends like bell bottoms in the 70s and stick with those trends too long. For whatever reason, the basic Levi's seem to always cycle back into fashion at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Sooner or later you WILL see Sony stores start closing as well. Any moron with half a brain who looks in the paper will see the 27 inch Sony TV at Future Shop for $479.00Cdn versus the EXACT same televion at Sony for $549.00Cdn - Sony will drop the price to $529.00 but it ain't good enough. And that applies to EVERY single item they sell. Like JVC - it's a matter of time before Sony is out of the shopping mall and into Wal-mart. But ONLY in Wal-Mart if they LOWER their price. And Sony will lower the price but if they don't want to lose any money - and they don't of course they WILL lower the quality.

    Wal-mart buys on price - they don't need Sony either Sony will likely need Wal-mart in the not too distant future because shoppers are getting smart.

    It use to be people would automatically buy Sony "because they're the best" I don't run into too many people like that these days(CR ranking their tv 9th against cheaper competition doesn't help).
    The Sony stores are not necessarily around to push product that people can buy in other stores. They are used as a showcase for Sony's product lines and to sell some of their more exotic items (like those $10k electronic dogs). That explains why they locate in very high profile (and expensive) locations.

    The Sony brand is still perceived well, but their vulnerability is that they no longer have the same technological advantage that they once had and as I've noted many times on this board, their product quality has slipped in recent years. They've always had an advantage with CRTs, but they never planned for the market transition to flat panels, and now they have to partner with Samsung for their plasma panels. Sony's roots are in transistor radios and they have always had products sold through discount stores, so it's not really a big deal that their stuff is sold at WalMart.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Pioneer here in the 1980s and 90s was HUGE - they sold at Future Shop and A&B Sound as the mid range reciever. Both stores dropped them. You're not careful you're gone.
    Pioneer though has multiple other outlets for their products. They don't even need the retail market given that they make so many products on an OEM basis. There are only a handful of companies that make DVD transports, Pioneer is one of them. They have a pretty big market share with OEM car audio systems and DVD-ROM drives. They also represent the high end with RPTVs and flat panels, and the prices that they command show that. Another area where they are strong is with music videos, which they have been involved in since their Laserdisc days.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I would also say JBL would be the foirst or second name to come to people's minds when thinking of speakers - Bose as the other. How long will they continue to be #1 and 2 in sales? B&W has been moving up rapidly. People look at magazines and won't see good reviews of Bose enough times will see Energy and Paradigm and B&W advertising to the hilt and when they go to stores will see others not just Bose and JBL - sooner or later Bose will fall from top spot. Icons or not - if McDonalds can be de-throned anyone can.
    As I said, there's a difference between being a market leader and status as an icon. Levi's has had an almost constant presence whether in historical contexts or in pop culture or in sheer sales. I would venture that at least one pair of Levis are in most American households. JBL had a dedicated following and Bose is the best seller, but IMO the speaker world is a small niche. Hardly the stuff that permeates pop culture and households alike. Not everybody owns a set of component speakers, in fact, judging by the per capita sales of audio equipment, I don't even think anywhere near a majority of consumers own anything above a mini system.

    I don't have the data in front of me, but I don't think that Subway's overall sales are anywhere near McDonald's.

  15. #15
    RGA
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    You should look at the net profit of Subway - they have more than twice as many nearly 3 times the number of outlets and growing rapidly as compared with McDonalds. There is a near 5-1 ratio in my town of 90,000.00. Naturally McDonalds will have a higher sales per day than a SubWay outlet. Subway is not exactly fast and typically have 2-3 employees working with no drive through.

    McDonalds can have 15 or so working and pulling in $2000.00 hours...more at some of the busier spots. They closed 600 restaurants in the States alone in one year last year or the year before. When i went through California there was a nice little chain called In and Out Burger I assume was just starting because I didn't see it outside of California. Less selection far better food and the two restaurants were kitty corner at lunch everyone was at In and Out and 2 lone cars at the McDonalds. Coincidence granted - but that little chain seemed to be pretty good. There was another one called Carl's Junior not as good and I also didn't see them outside of California(maybe some in Nevada).

    GM and Ford are Icons as some of their cars are prized as collectors. I don't see why someone would prize a pair of Jeans from the 50s - if the Jeans are the exact same today then why would the same OLD pair be worth more? Who is collecting them. People collect Vinyl but frankly it's dead. Collectables are a niche no matter what it is clothing or not. I'm only 30 but I have never met a person or seen a store who collects Levi's jeans.

    And the point along the way which has been veered from is that the poster believes that Wal-mart is helping to get better profducts for less money. Levis going intop Wal mart and being FORCED to cut their price in half - forces Levis to leave the country for slave wages...will these Jeans continue then to be the pride of America? History of Hundred years is equivelant of a flea on the Fluke of a blue whale. The idea you present that fads come and go but Levis will always be safe as top dog is a shallow one. No they probably won't go under - but fashion has never been about better quyality. Is the $200.00 Versace 10 times better than Lee on a quality basis - other than label I doubt there is ANY quality advantage. And when you live and die on public perception all it takes is a nifty ad campaign to build you up and some bad press to knock you down.

    Levis is a STAPLE brand that has gone up and down and back up etc in popularity for years. It is not just the American market that needs to be viewed. What is a Staple for 300 million may have less footing on the NEW markets of the Asian markets which comprise 1/4+ of the worlds population.

    As the jobs leave the US more un-employment follows. Or people move to lower paying jobs. People in lower paying jobs have no where to buy other than Wal-mart. Good for the Chinese worker they can buy the jeans - is levis going to hold the cards there - maybe, maybe not.

    Price bias holds in most things - if Levis is cheapest it will be viewed as a lesser brand. I know youngsters who being conned by marketing won't be caught dead buying at Wal-Mart - Wal-Mart is viewed as crap. It's not necessarily true but the perception is it's for the poor. Levis sold there does not help them attract the hip kids from buying. The difference is 20 years ago Levis was the A-BRAND. Yes there was the other hip brands but Levis was not un-cool. Moving into Wal-mart will NOT help their image and can only hurt them - at least with the hipster kids. And these are the people who drive the market fads.

    Is Harley outselleing Honda or Suzuki Motorbikes? Is Harley as good a bike for repairs and sheer speed? I'm not a bike expert but I should think the answer to both is no. And the demographic of 16-30 buying bikes or Jeans versus the 40-65 group would be interesting.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    You should look at the net profit of Subway - they have more than twice as many nearly 3 times the number of outlets and growing rapidly as compared with McDonalds. There is a near 5-1 ratio in my town of 90,000.00. Naturally McDonalds will have a higher sales per day than a SubWay outlet. Subway is not exactly fast and typically have 2-3 employees working with no drive through.
    Well, that's the difference between profitability and sales volume. I don't know anything about McD's cost structure, but I read that those losses that they incurred last year represented the first quarterly loss and the first year to year revenue decline in their history. Considering that they'd been profitable and had consistent growth for almost 50 years as a publicly traded company, that's a pretty good track record.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    McDonalds can have 15 or so working and pulling in $2000.00 hours...more at some of the busier spots. They closed 600 restaurants in the States alone in one year last year or the year before. When i went through California there was a nice little chain called In and Out Burger I assume was just starting because I didn't see it outside of California. Less selection far better food and the two restaurants were kitty corner at lunch everyone was at In and Out and 2 lone cars at the McDonalds. Coincidence granted - but that little chain seemed to be pretty good. There was another one called Carl's Junior not as good and I also didn't see them outside of California(maybe some in Nevada).
    Funny that you would mention In-N-Out. They started pretty much the exact same time as McD's in the late-40s. The difference is that In-N-Out is family owned with no franchises, while McD's is publicly traded with the majority of their locations franchised. They didn't even expand outside of the L.A. area until about 10 years ago. From having worked with confidential sales data for several communities, I can tell you that In-N-Out is the only fast food chain that I've seen has a consistently higher sales volume per location than McD's.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    GM and Ford are Icons as some of their cars are prized as collectors. I don't see why someone would prize a pair of Jeans from the 50s - if the Jeans are the exact same today then why would the same OLD pair be worth more? Who is collecting them. People collect Vinyl but frankly it's dead. Collectables are a niche no matter what it is clothing or not. I'm only 30 but I have never met a person or seen a store who collects Levi's jeans.
    If you want to see a Levi's collector's trade in action, go to Japan. The whole point of collecting is basically completing a series and finding the rarest of the rare items. A few years ago, I was reading a story about crazy bidding in Japan for a rare pair of Levi's from the 50s that had a different colored tag than the norm. The bidding went into the thousands. Supposedly, jeans with those tags were only made for a few months due to either error or shortages. Collectors document the various changes that have been made to different Levi's jeans over the years and make note of the rarest items. The last of the Wolfsburg VW Beetles are collector's items, and the ID #s that are closer to the final editions drive the value higher.

    Vinyl collectors go according to the same mentality. It doesn't matter if the format's not the norm, what drives collector's markets are scarcity and perceived value. As an example, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" had a series of a few thousand albums that got released without the title on the cover. Those editions now sell for hundreds of dollars. For fans of Bruce Springsteen who must collect everything he's ever recorded, they will go to the ends of the earth to find a rarity like this, even if they don't own a turntable. Similarly, a few Capitol pressings of the Beatles' White Album were released with a completely blank cover ("The Beatles" was embossed rather than printed into the cover; the Japanese LPs were all done this way, but only a few of the American ones were), and a similarly rare press run of Pink Floyd's The Wall was done with the album title pressed onto the plastic wrapping rather than onto a paper insert.

    CDs just don't engender that kind of passion because there's little perceived change from one release to another. With vinyl, it's a different story altogether. Early pressings or specific editions can sound dramatically different than others (e.g latter LP editions and all CD versions of of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue were mastered at the wrong pitch, so the early mono pressings that were done correctly were worth hundreds of dollars), rare editions are sought after by people who try and collect every edition ever done for specific artists, album covers are sometimes regarded with the same renown as rare prints. Those types of variations either don't exist for CDs, or don't have the same value to collectors. My half-speed mastered version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon can fetch over $500 for a sealed copy. All of the direct-to-disc LPs that I have are similarly sought after on the collector's markets.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Is Harley outselleing Honda or Suzuki Motorbikes? Is Harley as good a bike for repairs and sheer speed? I'm not a bike expert but I should think the answer to both is no. And the demographic of 16-30 buying bikes or Jeans versus the 40-65 group would be interesting.
    I believe that Harley actually passed Honda in sales a couple of years ago. They almost went away when AMF grossly mismanaged the company because they tried to compete with the Japanese bikes on their terms. It was only when they really focused back on their roots and started making the types of bikes that they were good at making that their sales rebounded. Harley is inferior in just about every performance department to Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas, or Kawasakis. But, they have a mystique and brand image that those Japanese bikes lack, and they have not changed the basic look of their bikes, which is exactly what the market currently wants. Harley sells more modern motorcycles that are roughly comparable to Japanese bikes under the Buell label.

  17. #17
    RGA
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    I know this is subjective but it isinteresting that In N out is a much superior fast food chain IMO to McDonalds on a Food quality level and yet it is the weaker one that hits big. Put a clown as your mascot and have some toys thrown in and you're a hit.

    It's not what you sell it's how well you sell it. And even price doesn't relate necessarily as Subway is kind of expensive as fast food goes. Subway is a much cheaper outfit to run from an overhead perspective because they make their own buns have few people working and a simple process to make things.

    When I worked for McDonalds they started selling pizza - Canada was the test market. They practically overnight became the largest pizza chain in the counntry. Needless to say it failed. Then head office downtown vancouver had a McSub bar. Same as subway but built right into the center of the store. They were trying to test the waters. Nothing has come about. McDonalds seems desperate to add new things to their menu to generate quick sales.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I know this is subjective but it isinteresting that In N out is a much superior fast food chain IMO to McDonalds on a Food quality level and yet it is the weaker one that hits big. Put a clown as your mascot and have some toys thrown in and you're a hit.

    It's not what you sell it's how well you sell it. And even price doesn't relate necessarily as Subway is kind of expensive as fast food goes. Subway is a much cheaper outfit to run from an overhead perspective because they make their own buns have few people working and a simple process to make things.

    When I worked for McDonalds they started selling pizza - Canada was the test market. They practically overnight became the largest pizza chain in the counntry. Needless to say it failed. Then head office downtown vancouver had a McSub bar. Same as subway but built right into the center of the store. They were trying to test the waters. Nothing has come about. McDonalds seems desperate to add new things to their menu to generate quick sales.

    And now they're trying to go healthy! Sorry but when I think of health food, I don't think of McDonalds, and it would take a couple generations of new consumers to change that mentality.

    I love In 'N Out. Read Fast Food Nation and you'll realize that comparing McDonald's to In N Out is an insult to the latter.

  19. #19
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    People collect Vinyl but frankly it's dead.
    Ummm... You might want to tell Simply Vinyl, 4 Men With Beards, Sundazed, Cisco, Speakers Corner and the rest about this because their still pressing them. Just because it's not selling even 1/8 of what it used to doesn't neccesarily mean it's dead. It actually outsold DVD-A 6 to 1 last year.

    Is Harley outselleing Honda or Suzuki Motorbikes? Is Harley as good a bike for repairs and sheer speed? I'm not a bike expert but I should think the answer to both is no.
    Actually Harley all but has a lock on the cruiser market. As for repairs Harleys are far more reliable than they were before the advent of the Evolution (1985) and the newer Twin Cam 88 (1999). A lot of the people who used to swear at them now swear by them. As for sheer speed Harley's Buell divsion is trying to cover that side of things (still won't keep up with a Suzuki GSX1000R though).

    until the V-Rod came out, Harley was still using a basic engine design that dated back to the 50s
    Actually the engine design dates back to the mid 30's (Knucklehead engine).

  20. #20
    RGA
    RGA is offline
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    Vinyl is dead for the purposes of this discussion though if you were reading the whole thread.

    If Levis was still breathing and selling 1 jean for every 20,000 sold by a competitor we would say they're dead. Though yes - people by new vinyl - including me - MOST people don't. Vinyl reigned king and now it's a niche.

    SACD won't ever sell until SACD is integrated as hybrid discs in FULL on EVERY NEW album and re-release proiduced and all players at the $100.00 level come with SACD --- and still only if the price of the discs don't go up.

    The audiophile market is at best 5% --- to get anywhere you MUST convince the other 95% that it's worth it...and if they are not audiophiles - well they were already conned by Sony/Phillips the first time that CD is perfect sound forever...since even the few discs that actually have a benefit can't be heard because most of that 95% doesn't know how to hook up their system nor do they have a GOOD system the demo's are hardly going to sell it. SACD has been all but dropped in the Canadian market - the cheap Sony player was discontinued - none of the major chains carry any titles the ONE that does charges high prices and offers little selection.

    SACD reminds me of Laser disc. Only die hard niche folks bought into it - it survived 20 years and is basically non-existant. Sad because many of my LD transfers were and are so much superior to the digital counterparts in DVD. Just like Audio - it was never the discs or the players but the transfers.

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