HiDEF Lifestyle Discusses the Slow Return to “Normal” on Dealerscope Insider Talk
It was easy to see early on in Dealerscope’s recent Insider Talk with Aaron Sholtis and Scott Thomas of HiDEF Lifestyles in Harrisburg, PA, that things are beginning to creep back to some semblance of normalcy. While the pair weren’t suggesting they have completely bounced back from the problems caused by the pandemic, their premium AV retail business is now open to the public, albeit at half capacity for in-store traffic, but several product categories are moving briskly.
As Insider Talk hosts Dealerscope publisher Tony Monteleone and editor Nancy Klosek moved the conversation along, asking about retail life in this COVID-19 era, Sholtis and Thomas discussed how they have managed to successfully navigate these difficult times.
“As we all watched certain categories surge during the pandemic, things like grocery stores of course and later businesses like hair and nail salons, we were hopeful that surge would get around to the CE category,” began Sholtis. “And now it really has. We are seeing a few categories doing really well.”
Among those are the location’s home theater products, not surprising as many CE retailers across the country are reporting sales of product within this space up considerably.
“People are home more now so home entertainment has gotten bigger,” Thomas explained. “And even though movie theaters may be set to reopen, let’s see what kind of public support they get. People have become much more comfortable watching movies as a family at home. Thus we’re seeing our home theater business doing really well.”
Thomas added that large screen TVs, 75-inches and up, are moving really well as are projectors. Interestingly he added that they have seen a spike in blue-ray players, so much so they haven’t been able to keep pace with the sudden resurgence in a category that had been fairly dormant in recent years.
Thomas and Sholtis also spoke about how the pandemic has surprisingly created new business opportunities that may not have been on the radar previously.
“Many businesses are trying new and exciting ways to bring people in. Our friends over at the Greystone House, a restaurant in Harrisburg, have decided to turn their parking lot into a movie theater on Friday and Saturday nights,”Sholtis said. “Our installation team helped modify an Epson projector to make it more portable and with the help of a few other items we helped turn this idea into a reality.”
Roughly 200 cars, parked in the proper social distancing manner, filled the Greystone House lot for opening night recently to view the movie Sandlot, with concessions, of course, provided by the restaurant’s staff. The plan is to run the movie events all summer long, with a big Star Wars weekend on the menu as well.
As each phase of the recovery rolls along, the HiDEF team is anxious to get back to what they do best, demonstrating their premium AV products in the location’s dazzling showrooms. For now, they’ll take it one day and one step at a time, knowing they’re moving in the right direction.
“I haven’t had a haircut in three months,” Sholtis quipped. “But I have one set up for next week, so I’m super excited about that.” Thomas, on the other hand, is close friends with a barber, thus Sholtis added, “He’s been cheating.”
Such is life in the new normal.
MEPO’s Michael and Jaime Restrepo, who also run the A/V and automation integration firm Restrepo Innovations, produce Insider Talk for Dealerscope. To check out the full discussion click here.