Came across an interesting article in World Business by two Bain-ies that confirmed what I have thought for a long time: simplify your product line and sales will go up, not down.
They quote the example of Chrysler cutting the number of combinations available to car buyers from 10 million down to the six configurations reflecting the most popular choices.
There are several reasons why reducing the amount of product choice can increase sales:
1. By reducing complexity you reduce cost, freeing up money to support the remaining product lines (BUT, you need a way to ensure these savings pay for more brand support, and not get snaffled up by finance to boost short-term profits!)
2. Less complexity = more focus for the company. Key people concentrate their time and effort on fewer, bigger ideas.
3. Less complexity also makes it easier for consumers to choose. Confuse them with too big a range and they'll go somewhere else.