Industry trade publication Twice.com is reporting that the founders of Florida based Sound Advice, a successful AV chain that was sold to Tweeter before that chain famously melted down, is making a comeback in a former Sound Advice - Tweeter location. The renovated store will be reopened March 4 through March 8 with aggressive promotions.
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The former chairman of Sound Advice smartly picked up the mailing list, brand and other marketing goodies from the Tweeter bankruptcy.
With the American economy improving, there is precedent for an audio-video chain to pick up where one of the failed chains left off. New York Retailer, Sixth Avenue, although a failure in the Philadelphia market has been successful with a converted Circuit City store in Wilmington, Delaware.
Critics say that the failure of Ultimate Electronics at a national level should make bringing back Sound Advice a nearly impossible feat however unlike Ultimate - Sound Advice knew how to sell audio products, modest custom installation and value oriented products better than Tweeter, Circuit City, Ultimate, The Good Guys and other now defunct chains. Audio, custom AV and higher end products are hard to compete with on price by online outlets. These concepts also sell well on a regional level.
Specialty AV manufacturers are looking for new partners not always named Best Buy as they build back their distribution chain. During the boom times of the mid-2000's many companies took the easy way out by signing big regional and national chain deals over supporting a more diverse group of smaller, national retailers. Today most of those bigger chains not named Magnolia and or Best Buy are gone and the hole in the market it gaping.
The exciting part of this announcement is that there are now companies letting greed for market share take over for fear of a bad economy. Could this be a return of Tweeter in Boston, Dow in San Diego, Bryn Mawr Stereo in Philadelphia and Myer Emco in Washington D.C.? Perhaps the names won't be the same but the real estate is cheap, the manufactures are willing to cut big deals to open new dealers and with 3.5 percent down FHA loans for a large population of young buyers - there are solid reasons to be back into the specialty AV market. Not every client wants an AV system bought at the same store that sells you a 24 pack of Bounty towels or a two pound box of Cheerios.