Stereo Exchange Takes Headphone Selling Up a Notch
Because the cost of retail space is so dear everywhere in New York City, Dave Wasserman, proprietor of New York City’s lower Manhattan-situated Stereo Exchange, has had to focus perhaps a little more acutely than dealers in other regions on how to apportion the real estate in his showroom to optimize ROI. One solution he has devised: carry headphones that reflect his store’s dedication to promulgating high-performance audio, make them accessible for sampling by customers – and aggressively promote these premium brands with events like the one he held last Thursday from noon to 7:30 p.m. – his second annual event focusing on headphones.
Around the 5 o’clock hour, the store, unsurprisingly, began filling with passers-by just coming out of work, but Wasserman – and several of the vendors demo’ing their wares throughout the store for the event – said traffic had been consistently heavy throughout the day. “There hasn’t been a dull moment,” he said. “When we did this last year, we had everything in one sound room. We learned from that that we needed to give it more space. One other thing we did better this time, too, was to ask vendors to do their own social marketing as well, even though we sent 20,000 emails to our customer base in five blasts over a two-week period.” The event was also promoted effectively on the website head-fi.org, which was partly responsible for the non-stop buzz of enthusiasts cycling through the room where Dr. Fang Bian – founder of HiFiMAN and a celebrity of sorts among audio aficionados who frequent the website – demonstrated a pre-production version of his latest design, the $2,999 HE1000.
The event, besides featuring show specials and pre-orders on products not yet released, also highlighted complementary product lines and technologies that were on demo, too, such as Autonomic’s streaming media server, Tidal’s high-resolution streaming service, and Auralic’s Vega digital audio processor.