Steve Caldero, senior vice president and COO of Ken Crane’s Home Entertainment, Hawthorne, Calif., shares a similar attitude by focusing not only on new product but new service offerings. The company recently created its own four-crew installation team, instead of farming out the work to sub-contractors, to establish greater customer control and to charge for services the company had given away. The installation teams have helped the business get deeper into home control and automation, security, front projection, lighting, multi-room A/V distribution, and the new line of Z-wave products. He’s also thinking about taking on the D-Box motion simulator. The fact that his wife works for the company has no sway on his decision, Caldero said.
“We want to give people the experience they can’t get at your typical Best Buy,” he said. “Those are the types of products that get people involved. We don’t want to just be pushing boxes.”
Andy Himmer, President of Audio Video Experience of Hampton Falls, N.H., was also looking for differentiators. “We took a strong look at the music hard drive server products and started a new relationship with Qsonix, who make a lossless music server. We are very excited about this,” said Himmer, whose store is a converted Victorian home. “Every room looks like that of a regular house, except for the concealed electronics and the one with the full 2:35:1 theater.”