We've already heard that Best Buy is aiming
to spruce up its entire home theater department while undercutting Walmart, and now we're hearing that Panasonic individually is looking to stores more like Best Buy to sell its products. In a rather bizarre move, Panny is reportedly aiming to "tighten distribution" of its products by ditching dealers who add no value (and sell cheap) and sending more product to retailers who are willing to "implement Panasonic's stricter marketing policies and programs" (and sell high). Without getting caught up in the minutiae, what this essentially means is that it'll be harder for independently informed consumers to find Panny products on the cheap, but it'll be easier for the technologically illiterate to find Panny dealers surrounded by informed CSRs and information packets. It's possible that the company is simply trying to improve its image and appeal only to a certain class of people, but for those of us smart enough to do our own research beforehand, it looks like we'll be shopping other brands. Your loss, Panny.