Faces at Retail
Gabriel Karlis, president, JD Audio & Video Design, Fort Lee, N.J.
New Jersey, the nation’s wealthiest and densest state (1,170 people per square mile!), is often looked at as a bellwether for CE retail trends. Gabriel Karlis, a second-generation custom retailer, has been watching the North Jersey market long enough to guage just how elaborate Americans are willing to get with their home theater systems, and he’s encouraged. “The sky’s the limit!” says Karlis. “In this area, it’s coming to the point that any home over $2 million is expecting a full home cinema. We used to build two or three a month. This month, we’re doing over 16.”
Karlis says his company, JD Audio & Video Design, which operates out of a showroom in Fort Lee, N.J., is innundated with requests for increasingly sophisticated cinema rooms. “They want seating with beautiful, reclining leather chairs with cupholders. Two rows and eight seats is the standard here. Fiberoptic ceilings that actually mimic the constellations are very popular. People want retro sconces, popcorn machines, even lit-up movie poster cases that say ‘Now Showing’.”