Crutchfield enters auto accessories market

With its latest catalog, Crutchfield Corp., a $192 million consumer electronics cataloger, is expanding into the auto accessories market. The book, which began mailing on April 28, devotes 16 pages to such specialized items as corner and taillight lenses, shift knobs, pedals, gauges, and accent lights.

“There seems to be a movement that reached mass culture with the movie ‘The Fast and the Furious’,” says vice president of marketing Alan Rimm-Kaufman, who adds that Crutchfield performed extensive research prior to expanding its product line. “The movie reflected the movement, didn’t create it, but the market is undoubtedly getting bigger—having grown by more than 50% in 2001 to $14 billion.”

Rimm-Kaufman says that during the past few years, the company’s targeted customer has grown slightly older and is now in his mid-30s. But consumers in the so-called sporty car market are generally 16-25 years old, giving Charlottesville, VA-based Crutchfield an opportunity to capture new, younger buyers. In addition, because so many of the electronic components that Crutchfield sells don’t require replenishment for years, the cataloger is banking on the new market to provide an influx of repeat buyers.

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