Consumer Confidence Up, Ultimate Down
Another ongoing CEA survey, the Index of Consumer Technology Expectations, hit a record high for the month of January, not to mention an all-time high in December 2010. "The record high this January suggests consumers are still showing a willingness to purchase tech," said CEA's chief economist. See press release.
However, that doesn't mean all CE retailers are doing well. Ultimate Acquisition Partners, the parent company of Ultimate Electronics, has filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in six years, TWICE reports. The 46-store chain owes millions of dollars to credits such as Sony, Monster, Klipsch, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and others.
Steven Stone of Audiophile Review reminisces: "Ultimate Electronics was like the Denny's of specialty retailers -- it's where I go when everything else is closed.... On the other hand, my wife liked Ultimate Electronics for appliances for our rental houses. Their prices were good and their delivery service was better than Home Depot."
Update: After the publication of this story, Ultimate said it would stage a going-out-of-business sale, with all stores to close by April, pending permission from the bankruptcy court judge.