Leveraging Luxury Living
“Our customers often want their B&O products to be seen,” said Palandri, who likens the brand loyalty to that of luxury cars. In fact, a recent survey by The Luxury Institute (luxuryinstitute.com), a research firm that evaluates the changing tastes of high net-worth consumers (people who make, on average, $341,000 a year), revealed that the very affluent consider B&O the premium CE manufacturer.
Despite this long-nurtured reputation, Nielsen reported a slight drop-off in retail traffic over the last year, although retail sales are up. “You could say we’ve weathered the last year fairly resiliently and we’re happy with that,” he said.
Targeted growth in the custom install category may be one of the best explanations for the company’s solidity. Like many other retailers, B&O is learning how to increase the average ticket price of each customers. What may begin as a cash-and-carry purchase is parlayed into a home visit and then developed into a custom job. Pedersen was delighted recently by one such job, a four-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot Manhattan apartment that ended up with a $250,000 A/V system, including distributed audio, a full B&O home theater with a Kaleidescape digital file server, and control panels.