Like many specialty dealers at this year’s CEDIA Expo, Bill Skaer was looking for products, solutions and strategies that will work for a wide range of customer demographics. With pocketbooks tightening and competition increasing, “Any customer worth having is worth winning” goes the mantra among independent dealers and specialty retailers.
With that in mind, the two products the grabbed Skaer’s attention at the show couldn’t have been more different. One was the new Steinway Lyngdorf Model D music system, which carries a starting price tag of about $150,000 and scales to about $350,000 for a full home theater. “It’s very expensive, but it is exceptional,” Skaer, president of Eric Grundelman’s Cool AV, Mesquite, Texas, said as he dreamily recalled the speakers’ deep black finish, gold stenciling and ribbon tweeters. “I think it can sell.”
On the other spectrum was the Schlage LiNK, a Z-wave based wireless system that allows the user to lock and unlock doors over a cell phone. The starter package is priced at $299 and is aimed at consumers who can’t be around to let a repairman or child into their home.