Dealerscope's 2011 Retail Excellence Award Winners
We recognize ON Store, hhgregg, Definitive Audio, Barrett's and Nebraska Furniture MartAugust 2011
If there's a common theme to this year's Retail Excellence Awards winners, it's their investment in change. Each of their stories provides a case study into how insight, action and focus can combine to create an element or strategy that's beneficial to both the retailer and the overall CE industry.
See the Related Content tab for profiles of the five winners.
Start with The ON Store, George Manlove's new venture, which borrows several elements from the Apple Stores but adds a few of its own to create a standout retail experience among independent dealers. There's now one in Missoula, Mont., but Manlove, who also serves as CEO of Vann's, has plans for 12 more in the near future. Ultimately, he envisions 600. Given his track record, we have no reason to doubt him.
While Manlove went outside of a legacy model to address industry change, Nebraska Furniture Mart embarked on an extensive redesign of the CE division in its Kansas City store. The result is an enviable shopping experience that few retailers can match. Industry executives were greatly impressed during last year's grand opening. They remain so today.
When the industry doesn't change fast enough, smart retailers change the industry. That's what Mark Ormiston of Definitive Audio did when he created the Music Matters annual product and technology showcases. Not only are the events still growing strong and serve as a much-needed platform for audio manufacturers, but many other dealers have created their own Music Matters events, spreading a good thing across the country.
It takes nerve to change your company's name and product set but Joe Barrett and his crew showed plenty when they switched their shingle from Barrett's Home Theater to Barrett's Technology Solutions. They all breathed a sigh of relief when their customer base also embraced the latest in home control/automation, networking and mobility solutions that Barrett's offers.
Many retailers talk about the advantages of expanding during a downturn, but none has done it on the scale of hhgregg. In its 2012 fiscal year, which is still underway, the company has opened 18 stores, with about 20 more planned before it ends. Several new marketing campaigns, expanded training and a large investment in its e-commerce initiatives have also helped the store earn a spot on this year's list.
Congratulations to all of the winners. We hope to see your company's name here next year.