A Brand That Lasts
While the business is about 50-50 custom/retail, about 80 percent of walk-in business has to do with some level of installation. “Have you looked at the back of a receiver lately, with 120 inputs and outputs?” Schuster asked. “Not only that, but you have to bend over backwards with a flashlight and it’s upside down and too heavy to turn. You know, there’s nothing easy about our industry any more. You might say the best thing is new and innovative technologies—and the worst thing is new and innovative technologies.
“Our store operation is like our living room. We invite guests into our parlor,” Schuster said in justifying why he has kept a retail presence when the majority of his business entails some level of custom installation. “If we had just a design showroom, customers can’t come in at their convenience and would have to come in at ours. That’s not what we’re about. Accessibility is the way we welcome our customers to our store. It’s the fuel that drives the custom side.”