Acquiring Minds Tweeter Makes a Big Deal Out of Being Small
Some of the markets Stone mentioned for expansion included North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (specifically Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio), San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Ohio. This year the company will also open it's first Washington D.C. store.
In this type of climate, Tweeter can afford to be choosy about the businesses it acquires. Herschman said the things they consider in a chain are the quality of the reputation with the customer, real estate location, sales force and customer list. It's also favorable for them if the acquisition is a former competitor. Similarity to Tweeter's product line is not quite as important. "We've acquired chains that have had very different lines than us," Herschman said. "Sometimes we keep the lines, but most of the time, we make the lines more like the Tweeter lines. Probably 70+ percent of the lines are same anyway. Most guys carry Mitsubishi, Yamaha, Denon, Boston Acoustics and everybody carries Sony, right?"
Product lines and store names are not the only things Tweeter changes once it takes over a business. Though it retains the sales staff of the old stores, Tweeter employees go through a five and a half week basic training program, and smaller programs once a year afterward. Herschman also contends that Tweeter sales associates are some of the best paid in the business. "Other CE retailers refer to their employees as the 'labor component,' " Herschman said. "We all know our salespeople pay our salaries. The battle is won and lost on the sales floor every single day, as the great Sandy Bloomberg would say."