Definitive Audio More Than Just a Store
But a changing trend in the audio world was taking place. With the advent of VCRs and video monitors, home theater was starting to build steam. Sensing the potential of this new market, in 1985, Definitive began the selection process of video equipment that it felt was suitable for the higher-end market. By 1986, two of the store's sound rooms had been remodeled to demonstrate integrated audio/video systems. Its service capabilities had expanded to include calibration, design and installation for the increasing number of customers who were interested in customized a/v systems.
"Now, our audio business is driven by front projection," Ormiston said. The move to increased service and custom installation paid off. In the 1980s, larger chains were beginning to take customers who, years before, may have gone to Definitive.
"In the 80s, we had some success, even as a tiny company. We had some success selling and running ads in the newspaper and bringing customers in with special promotions," said Ormiston. But, he added, by the 90s, an independent couldn't compete with the chains by running print ads, so Definitive stopped running ads and, instead, promoted its services and focused on attracting a higher-end clientele.