Retailing in HD
But another retail venture was in the works. In 1986, John Sisk, the head of Audio Authority, a manufacturer of A/V parts, was looking into the company's retail business—which was called Ovation Audio/Video—so that he could focus resources on manufacturing and new product designs.
McCormick took over the store, located in Lexington, Ky., in September of 1986, inherited some of the employees and one month later opened another store in Indianapolis. Today Ovation employs 175 employees in nine retail stores located in Indianapolis and Lafayette, Ind.; and Lexington and Louisville, Ky. The business in 2001 brought in a volume of an estimated $27 to $28 million.
Ovation's business is split between audio, video and mobile electronics, but design and installation services are coming up strong as the company invests more in that segment of the business. Though Ovation never started out to be a custom installer, it was inevitable when serving the high end. "In the early days, we would do what we used to term 'later term science projects,' " McCormick said. "Really (there were) giant systems coupled together and maybe pushing the technology a little too much. We learned a lot doing that."