Definitive Audio, the Seattle-based, 36-year-old hybrid AV specialty retailer and custom installer, has thrived through several recessions, housing crises and bouts of faltering consumer confidence by sticking to its guns, as well as changing with the buying habits of its customers.
What makes a new technology a hit or a miss? A good idea, great execution and wisdom, or dumb-like timing of the right introduction that can generate the hits? Anything else and you can miss. Dealers whose business is to keep up with the unending parade and fast pace of new entertainment and life-enhancing gadgetry make judgments every day about whether to carry or ignore new tech offerings, learn all they can about the few chosen products and then figure out how to market and sell them. Dealerscope recently spoke with some very keen judges of the good, the bad and the ugly
Unlike some dealers, Mark Ormiston, president of Definitive Audio, doesn’t have trouble pushing audio. It’s in the company’s blood. Seattle’s Definitive Audio started life 35 years ago and still focuses on its core product base. “Audio is 60 percent of our total business,” Ormiston said. Yet even he was astonished when Definitive’s recent audio promotional event, Music Matters III, drew a score of vendors and 533 RSVPs. “Although the odd person may have had trouble finding parking, they all came,” he said. Ormiston has been able to successfully sell higher-end, higher-ticket, higher-margin audio all those years. And with the public’s exploding interest in MP3
Success in audio By David Dritsas It would be really easy to attribute Definitive Audio's success to location. The myth of Seattle, Wash., is tied so irrevocably to Microsoft and a belief that the population abounds with high-tech, wealthy intelligentsia, ready and eager to spend money on high-end consumer electronics. But such an assumption wouldn't be a fair assessment for the a dealership whose hard work and perserverance has kept it at the top of its game. The truth about Seattle is that it is just a susceptible to the problems of any major city, and the quest for attaining and retaining customers is
By David Dritsas When Mark Ormiston came to Definitive Audio in 1982, he joined a business that owned one store with a handful of salespeople. Today, as president of the company, Ormiston oversees two stores and a diverse staff of 64 employees that includes salespeople, architects, designers and software developers. Certainly, a lot has changed in the store's 25 years. Definitive Audio is no stranger to the pros and cons of changing times in the retail business, but it has managed to come out on top as one of the most successful independent audio/video retailers in the Puget Sound area. Today, it represents some