Velodyne Terminates Reps to Sell Direct to Consumers
Popular subwoofer manufacturer scraps rep network in a move that one rep calls 'draconian'; DIY e-commerce site is live.
Velodyne Acoustics, a popular subwoofer brand for the A/V channel, is terminating its entire network of manufacturer reps, and selling direct to consumer.
Reps were notified on July 25 that their relationship with Velodyne would be terminated three days later. The company’s e-commerce site went live right away.
CEO David Hall tells CE Pro, “After careful evaluation of how we get our products to our customers, we determined that we can be more effective in serving the stereo enthusiast by offering products directly from Velodyne.”
One rep tells CE Pro that the vendor “lashed out in an apparently draconian fashion.”
The rep adds that Velodyne’s “selling online with prepaid freight is the first thing that smacks your face when you get to the site.”
In severing ties with reps, Velodyne is responding to “profound” market changes that are “once-in-a-millennium in magnitude,” Hall says.
He cites two such changes: 1) the shifting of manufacturing to Asia and profit-sharing schemes with overseas factories and 2) the Internet “and its impact on communication.”
“This demands a new business model,” Hall says, adding that the new environment “opens doors of opportunity for Velodyne to reinvent itself as again the most cutting edge and exciting audio company.”
In the statement emailed to its reps, Hall says Velodyne weighed the consequences of this move heavily before making the decision to sell direct. The company thanked its partners for the years of work they put in for Velodyne.
“Our decisions are not made lightly and we are making every effort to balance business priorities with the respectful treatment of our representatives who have made numerous contributions to Velodyne over the years,” Hall says in the letter. “Due to our new road map and after much consideration, we are terminating our relationship with all of our representatives.”
Addressing rampant rumors that Velodyne president Bruce Hall has left the company, David Hall asserts, “Velodyne is a family owned business and Bruce Hall is still involved in Velodyne Acoustics, Inc.”
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]
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