Holiday holding Inventory!

With the holidays right around the corners, and the sales on so many items at various stores, inventory management is crucial during these times. Not only are large quantities expected to be in inventory but also excess inventory to continually carry the stores throughout the holiday season all the way passed Christmas. Walmart announced that its Black Friday sale will start at 8p.m. on Thursday, November 22. Many big named brand items have already been  announced for customers to start placing on their wishlists.

Despite such an increased expected demand, Walmart will guarantee products to customers by giving them what they call guarnatee cards, that will ensure that customers get the item they wanted before Christmas at the advertised Black Friday price. Walmart is even going as far as having three rounds of sales to be able to keep up with the high demand of items on sale, especially electronics.

Do you think the Walmart should purposefully order more merchandise to account for such high demand during the holiday times or do you think that the products that they do have available on hand are excess items ordered previously throughout the year that has just sat in holding inventory? How might Walmart be able to access ordering trends and be able to supply enough of the items that are in high demand?

Beats for the boss, Beats or Bose?

With the ever expanding market for newly released electronics and the countless accessories released for the past, current and future versions of these products on the market, many companies are looking to develop the next new electronic out there for each company’s respective target market.  However, recently Beats headphones have expanded the current market to include business professionals and executives, stating that they, “…want something that goes a little better with [their] Brooks Brothers suit.”

At the price of almost $300, an executive comfortably sitting on a long flight, for example, now has a device that is “good for sound quality, noise canceling, and sturdiness.” However, the price for just the logo, a new design and an endorsement from Dr. Dre does not justify the high product cost. In fact, competition such as the makers of Bose headphones produce the same item, with very similar features that include noise cancellation, better sound quality, and sturdiness, amongst other feature around the same price. What’s the difference? Well, Bose products for one have been on the market a whole longer than the Beats counter part. Bose has also not specified their target market but generally targets the most avid music listeners and not just young urban music listeners. Ironically, what Bose did before Beats was to acquire more market share and sell their product to a larger target market rather than the narrow range of music listeners aquatinted to Dr. Dre’s music and subsequently the products of his business. Bose did this by having an entire audio line of high quality music accessories.

Evidently, it was in the best interest of Monster, the Beats headphone manufacturer, to have possibly taken the sales numbers of their competition, upon the release of their products, to generate forecasts. This could provide an idea to determine how the Beats headphone would fair in a market where the next new accessory with newer features, a sleek and stylish model and quality sounds would sell. If anything, Monster would have at least some data to predict sales trend lines and production forecasts to be as profitable and cost effective as possible.

What could have Beats audio done differently provided that they could access competitor statistics to generate their forecasts? Since both brands are in the audio industry and make very similar products, does the price reflect a mass manufacturing approach to their productivity for greater profits?

Wong, Vanessa. “Beats’ New Headphones Are for the Corner Office” 2012.  Bloomberg L.P. 18 Oct. 2012 <>