Attitudes from the Publisher
Room to move is a priceless commodity in the high-end A/V business, and with truly remarkable growth prospects facing them, retailers look poised to reap major rewards in the near future. Industry players have several inroads to greater and more diversified success: the ability to offer continuously improved technology to new customers; the chance to retain those new customers with better services; and, of course, the opportunity to branch out into unchartered territory. For many A/V retailers, that "next step" is custom installation.
It's a natural progression: There's isn't a huge leap required in expanding the sale of high-end equipment to the installation of that equipment within a home. The new generation of home-installations won't be confined to wiring just A/V equipment, either. With the integration of lighting systems, security features and PC functions into a complete home network, the retailer/installer could find his fingers in several new product-line pies.
Three years ago, brick-and-mortar retailers became very aware of a list naming the top five Web sites for Christmas-season commerce. All of the top five sites were Web-only retail merchants. By the following year, that hierarchy had completely changed, and traditional retailers ruled holiday-season sales. A wake-up call had been sounded and definitively answered. Today's retailer need only recognize a similar window of opportunity in offering custom installation services. (Check out this month's Master Class column from Brian Hagman, general manager of Now!AudioVideo, for practical tips on achieving peaceful coexistence of traditional retail and custom-install staffs.)