When you're a teenager, the 15th birthday is excruciating-just one long year to go before you can finally get behind that wheel. When you're a married couple, the 15th is an important anniversary, but it's no milestone. You're not precious metal material until you hit the big 25. But when you're North America's largest value-added pro AV distributor, leading the pack after 15 years of business is something to trumpet.
This celebratory spirit was on full display as Stampede Presentation Products welcomed an industry-wide group of more than 100 manufacturers to its fourth annual vendor summit at the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo, NY last week. Spread over the course of two days, the retreat served as both an annual report on Stampede's performance as a company, and also a deep analysis of trends the company is seeing in the industry.
In his official welcoming address, Stampede president and COO Kevin Kelly touted the company's record-shattering 2012-gross profit is up 25 percent and its core category unit count growth is up 76 percent over 2011.
"Any way you want to look at it, Stampede continues to grow at an unprecedented rate in 2012, a year in which we continue to celebrate our 15th anniversary of serving the pro AV community," Kelly said as he addressed the summit. "Through the worst economic challenges of our time, we have succeeded in helping our dealers to spec, finance, and install more pro AV installations than any other distributor in business today. And with the economy slowly, but inexorably improving by the day, we expect to accelerate our rate of growth in 2013."
He also took the opportunity to restate the company's values, goals, and commitments to its many partners. "When you add value to a system installation, you add margin," Kelly told attendees. "And, thus far in 2012, Stampede is adding value at an unprecedented level that cannot be matched by any other distributor in the business today. We can add this value on a consistent basis because we are focused exclusively on meeting the needs of the pro AV dealer community. We are distracted by other industries and market segments. We can and do devote 100 percent of our time and considerable resources on helping dealers to grow their business.
"This is why Stampede continues to strengthen its position as the oldest, largest, and deepest specialist distributor in the pro AV space, with more than 11,000 dealers in our network and more than 125 manufacturers as our partners."
According to Kelly, year-to-date projector dollar sales are up 16 percent and the average wholesale selling price has increased nearly 30 percent in two years. In the category of 3500-plus lumens, year-to-date projector sales in dollars are up 21.8 percent and the average wholesale price has increased 15 percent in the last year.
Sales of displays are also up solidly this year. "Dollar sales are up 39 percent and unit sales are up a staggering 127 percent," Kelly said. On the down side, he revealed that the average unit sale price of displays is declining because of the encroachment by consumer displays into the pro AV market. "This is a trend that we are watching carefully and taking steps to help our dealers counter."
Overall, Kelly said that the future for pro AV system installation was brightening considerably and would likely accelerate in 2013 regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election—a sentiment shared by the dealers participating in the Summit's panel discussion.