"Let's Not Worry About Model Numbers and Price"
For example, Mody says customers were coming into Videoland saying they had wall units, and were concerned if the big TVs at the store would fit inside of them. Soon, the store was selling wall units. This led to the highly significant step of setting up vignettes of living rooms and other environments inside the store. These were not listening rooms or viewing rooms so much as a glimpse of the lifestyle and décor features the customer could expect from a system bought at the store. Mody and his team meshed the A/V products with the décor—rugs, consoles, artwork, accessories—to provide a complete look.
Home Theater Store's initial success in Dallas was such that the lessons Mody learned from it quickly resonated in the company's flagship Houston market. "We were skeptical of changing the name in Houston after we introduced the new name in Dallas," says Mody. "But the new name was a home run. We opened in Dallas on Thanksgiving 1995 and by early 1996 we changed the names of the Houston stores." Which was just as well, Mody notes, in light of its research on the Videoland name. "There was kind of a disconnect," he says. "Many consumers thought that as Videoland, we sounded like we were in the video rental business.'
So Home Theater Store it was. And more Home Theater Stores were on the way. By 2000, there were three Houston locations, two Dallas-area locations, and a store in Austin. The stores average around 6,000 to 7,000 square feet, with about a dozen vignettes per store.