Consumers Just Want to Have Fun
There are two projects underway at Tweeter. "The first is to design the new flagships, which represent the future of the brand moving forward. The second project," explains Davies, "is to design a retrofit version that will blend into existing stores. When we started, we were pretty determined to do something unique. There are other concept stores out there. What's different about the Tweeter concept is it sells more than one brand and focuses on all consumers. "It's not just an esthetic store design decision. It's a company-wide initiative that has transformed the category."
Davies explained that Tweeter doesn't think people are buying consumer electronics in the same way they were five years ago, and subsequently, they don't feel the products being sold are the same either. "There's been a huge move toward transparency—you don't see the product or how it's installed, and it's driven by female consumers," he adds. However, he notes, not only are women attracted to the store, but also couples because one half of the pair isn't staring at the floor; they are both engaged by the process.
Davies also sees a trend with retailers who previously existed in a middle space in the market trading up to a near-luxury position. They are trying to leverage what aspects of their brand relate to a premium price and premium experience. "Tweeter is a perfect example of that," concludes Davies. "It's saying, 'We're not going to sit around here in the middle and sell iPods to people' (yes, you can buy iPods at Tweeter, but it knows Amazon.com sells them for less). Tweeter is now in the business of selling experience and service to premium consumers."