Manufacturers of cheap flat-panel TVs, like Vizio and Olevia, could be partially blamed over the recent closing of 128 CompUSA stores and 70 Circuit City stores. Obviously, the low prices of the off-brand LCD flat panels have put a lot of pressure on the "premium" flat-panel manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic to drop prices to compete. The price drops all around have squeezed the margins and hurt the brick-and-mortar retailers like CompUSA and Circuit City, in turn partially causing some of the recent closings. The general consensus at yesterday's U.S. Flat Panel Display Conference was that there are too many brands on the shelves and that the discounts need to stop. Maybe it's just a hunch, but I don't think that opinion will be too popular with the consumers.
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