If yhou were to start a shop which brands.........
If you were to start a SUCCESSFULL Hifi shop knowing that with spoace and capital restirctions what brabds would you attept to buy?AS good place to start in my mind is with B&W speakers.Like them or not (or particular maodels thay are the best selling import speaker in the USA,have abroad line so can take care of your $300 speker customers as well as the $3000 and is need be pretty close to $30K.And they porotect YOU.Unlike some manufacturers like "X" (let's say NHT speakers) they pervent internet sales etc and so forth.Habing been a sales man myself in the past I can tell you that m,ost gear afford you a 60% profit margin but speakers allow ,in the main,50%.Not B&W.They also demand 60% of retail.And from my experience they are well worth it.Some brands say if you are goin g to offer full service i.e. not just Yamaha,HK,Denon, etc etc home theatre receivers you need to deal with TV"s (again to be full service (and therefro need to deal with big companie that are in general indifferent to one store operation but a necessary evil.Be it Sony,Panasonic,Fujitsu,L&G etcetc you may need at first to go to a wholesaler until you've provenm sales that deserve and account.But audio is different.You may choose one product say the B&W and their rep wil try to sell you what ever other mi fi or hi end they represent as well.But to MAKE MONY and serve folks you as audiophiles will be surprised that one of if not your most important vendor will bne Niles,Sonnace or the like.Most folks are not into amp slew rates.They want UNDERSTANDABLE gear that looks good as well as sopund goods.Not to be sexist because many great A'gonners are women.But ion the genral public the WAF (wife acceptance factor) is hyge and the number one question that wives in to by enthusiastic husbands was,is,and always will be "Dosen't it come any smaller".Dr.Amar Bose is an excellent enginner but as a MARKETER he is a .Henry Kloss since the 50's with AR,KLH,Advent (built by the way to fund his large screen TV's.You remember those ugly big projector boxes and screen in Bars in the 70's?they were Novabeams.Too bad he was so far ahead of what technology could produce.But GENIUShistory was not started for a money making end in it's own but to fund a genius ahead of his times with projection TV's).His last venture is a smart one with stores carrying his brand Hifi.com on line marketing m of Cambridge Hifi none can hold a candle in sales to Bose no matter how suckky Bose sound.Now he and few other have ultimate wife -pleaser a single speaker which in 5.1 is front and rears.Anyway what kind of a product mix would you choose and what brands to satify joe-six pack to the audio dork to the guy who in prep school and college envied the rich kid with the Martantz or Quad gear.Now he can afford it.I know this is a big question because of it's breadth but also becauise it combines us (the audio dork) and the other 99% of poluation that wnats good sound,looks,and value.So take it in chunks.Limit iot to 2 channell.Leave out Turntables (where I worked before they made good recent stuff we had Thorens and I got the boss to get Rega because not only were they decent tables but they fit an $800 CD niche we were issing.Didn't even show the tables on the floor.One thing about our shop that was nice was it was 2 and a half hours from NYC and in 90's there was a housing boom.Folks will beat you to death on price opf gear but not standard 16/4 copper wirring and RF and volume wall plates.But we also had nice mix with High Schoolers and a junior college.It was and is: Location,location,location.
But fantasise hear yet avoid too much Halcro and Nagra.Most folks want to spend on a stereo total what some will spend for a meter of cable or say a 2 channel rig for $1500-$2500 though we had speakers that went up to $1K and could over $20K models if they wanted.Space is limited and you can only tie up money in what sells.So if your livelyhood and your kids livelyhood depended on it what mix would you take on.Remeber Joe and jane six pack so sub $100 speakers are as imprtant or more so than $10K or even $3K ones.Think $300-$30,000 for it all.ASnd if you know the buisnessmentgion "protected" lines if they fit the needs and it would be etween them and the "subways" brands out there *Subways will sell you a franchise and equipment to anybody with a spot and chas but BK,MCD,and Dunkin' WANT you to suceed so they have to OK it.NHT has one type or\f fee for all marketing that works for them others know they and the retaiuler will do better if they prevent hyper dsicounting and internet sales??????
P.S this does not even touch on subject that in 5 years everybody's stereo will be their computer and they or and elctrician will jut need to set up switchbox (maybe built into said computer) and run wiore s to each room.Speakers and mini digital amps to be sold by Dell the way they sell 40" Plasma's today.Whole 'nother kettle of fish.