Winter Park

Editor in chief of Dealerscope

Crown Audio, a Home Entertainment Source member, announced this week that it has opened a new showroom in Winter Park, Fla. The company's other store is in Lake Mary, also in Central Florida.

Part necessity and part peer envy drove Charles O’Meara to embark on a $1 million renovation of Absolute Sound, a hybrid retailer in Winter Park, Fla. But whatever caused O’Meara to renovate—in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns in 20 years no less—the project generated several important lessons that others in similar situations can learn from.

How retailers, specialty dealers and custom integrators survive during the next year depends, in part, on the solid business practices that have carried them through past struggles. But now, faced with economic strife at home and abroad, even the smartest, best-managed businesses have to constantly execute new strategies to stay in the game. The best dealers aren’t sitting back, waiting for things to change. They’re driving hard into the retrofit market; reaching out to past customers; leveraging every good idea passed on by buying groups, distributors, associations, colleagues and competitors; slashing operational costs; and boosting the morale of their sales staffs. Curing the Flat-Panel

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