|This looks like business hours with some of our hifi dealers!|
The Star daily's Audiofile section makes it's last appearance today after 22 years of publication. A whole generation of audiophiles grew up(and grew old) with Audiofile. Similarly, the NST's AV Today also had it's plug pulled(for now at least) sometime earlier this month. It's a sad loss, no make that double tragedy for the English reading Malaysian audiophile. What does this mean for local hifi market?
Keen eyed readers would've also noticed the lost of high end audio and AV dealer, Ultimate Reference advert panel on these pages. They too have shuttered sometime in January(if not mistaken). Audio Impressions also suffered the same fate some time last year.
It looks like the bad times are here. New vehicle sales are down, more people are losing their jobs, and even more companies have implemented hiring freeze. As expected, post Chinese New Year blues is the season people usually tighten their belts, after lavish spending from a series of festivities and holidays starting from the end of last year. It's the time to catch up on those credit card payments and make up for those house hold budget deficits.
What can we expect from all this? Expect less new brands and models coming to our shores, as our dealers struggle to clear their existing stocks. Expect more "SALES" and discounts. Expect some lesser brands to eventually disappear from the market place, as dealers streamline their product ranges. Expect less overall marketing activities.
I suspect this is all just the beginning! Expect things to get worst before it gets better. Perhaps this is a time for our local hifi dealers to conserve and emerge stronger out of this down season? Business as usual? Absolutely, as they say, hifi business is highly cyclical.
Still, it'll be hard to imaging both me and Odiosleuth to continue these pages for 22 years. That's a mighty long time! Kudos to all the guys who contributed to Audiofile for that long a time. You guys deserve a break and lastly, my Monday mornings will never be the same again.