Helen I. Hwang

Helen I. Hwang
Creating an Experience

Walking into the Hifi House in Wilmington, Del., is like stepping into a futuristic sensory pad. The store opened its doors last April and “foot traffic has been phenomenal,” said Jon Robbins, COO of Hifi House Group. There are high-definition and plasma televisions everywhere you look, but only the ones on sale have a price tag. The reason is Robbins wants his salespeople to find out each customer’s individual needs. One of the first things you see is a kitchen counter with unusual blue-hued cabinetry above it. A small countertop television shows you how little space a TV takes away from your culinary

The Low Lying Fruit

“Apple stores are really there to grab the low-lying fruit,” says Everett Katzen, the sole proprietor of Springboard Media, an Apple products retailer in Philadelphia. The ten-year-old computer store is in the enviable position of having a fiercely loyal customer base, not only to the Apple brand it carries but also to the store itself. With sales that have increased 15 percent annually over the last six years and Mac OS launch parties that attract over 200 attendees on a Friday night, Springboard is more than just an urban electronics store. It’s a place to be. At the front of the store, a cashier/receptionist