End of an Era: Toshiba’s Out. Who’s Next?

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The big news in my world last week was Toshiba of Canada announcing that they are exiting the consumer electronics channel.

Canada is one of 14 countries worldwide where Toshiba is electing to leave the CE space. According to reporting on the matter by Canadian business media, CE only represents 10% of Toshiba’s total corporate business; the majority being in healthcare, business systems and telecom.

Their decision to cede the field and walk away from the CE category may be startling, but it’s hardly surprising.

This is the endgame of the Race to Zero.

The lemming-like rush of the entire channel over the past two decades to constantly cut their own throats has seen plenty of casualties; Toshiba is just the most recent.

There was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, when Toshiba was a brand with a fantastic product. Back in the day, Toshiba RPTVs were among the best looking TV sets as well as the most profitable to sell. Toshiba was also one of the brands, along with Panasonic, whose TVs never gave my customers any after-sales service issues.

So much ink has been spilled about the Race to Zero that I’m loathe to continue. What else is left to say?

It’s my wish that, amidst the rubble of what used to be the CE channel, both manufacturers and resellers will pick of the pieces and start anew, with the premise of offering quality products at a fair yet profitable price, and abandon the ethos that led them to squeeze to profitability out of one category after another.

Maybe this time will be different.

In the meantime, who do you think will be the next ones to throw in the towel?