Canton, MA-based Tweeter Home Entertainment Group (NASDAQ: TWTR) has gone public. Last Thursday, July 16, the East Coast audio and video retailer launched an initial public stock offering of 2.71 million shares at an offering price of $17/share.
The ultra-High End may be stagnant in some areas, but the rebound in mainstream consumer electronics is visible everywhere. Canton, Massachusetts-based Tweeter Home Entertainment Group has announced record results for the quarter ended September 30, 1999: an increase of 39.5%, or $74.6 million compared to $53.5 million in the same period last year. The results are similar to those posted recently by nationwide electronics chain Best Buy, which also had a record quarter. Tweeter's comparable store sales increased 5.2%, not counting results from the recently acquired Home Entertainment and DOW Stereo/Video chains.
Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 11. The move was not entirely unexpected, since the company had indicated in May that it might be forced to file if it could not access additional funding.
Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc., the national electronics retail chain, has teamed with Sonos, Inc., developer of wireless multiroom music systems for the digital home, to bring "the digital home experience directly to the retail floor." The retailer will run broadband Internet connections to Sonos Digital Music System point-of-sale displays at over 150 Tweeter locations, to give music lovers live demonstrations of music server systems.
On May 10, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group announced that it has insufficient working capital to cover its long- and short-term costs and may have to consider filing for Chapter 11. The immediate cause of the shortfall is the cost of closing 49 stores and two distribution centers. This Week in Consumer Electronics reported specifically that lump sum payments to lease-holding landlords was a contributory factor.
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. announced that the company has reached an agreement in principle to acquire DOW Stereo/Video, Inc., located in San Diego, California. DOW is a nine-store specialty consumer-electronics retailer with sales of approximately $38 million, and has been in business in the San Diego market for over 30 years. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about July 1, 1999. Tweeter says it will pay approximately $5.5 million for the company excluding acquisition costs, and has the option of paying approximately $500,000 of the purchase price in Tweeter common stock.
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire United Audio Centers, located in the Chicago, Illinois area. United Audio describes itself as a seven-store specialty consumer electronics retailer with annual sales of approximately $48 million, and says it has been in business in the Chicago market for over 40 years. The companies expect to complete the transaction on or about April 1, 2000, and note that the agreement in principle to acquire United Audio is subject to various terms and conditions, as well as to regulatory approval.
It has been a fraught week for Tweeter Newco LLC, the A/V specialty chain acquired by Shultze Asset Management in July. On August 17, the company trimmed its corporate staff by "half," approximately 80 staffers at the home office in Canton, MA. It was the second corporate re-structuring since January, when 20% of the corporate staff was laid off.
It's a brave new audio world: Coinciding with last week's release of Medeski, Martin & Wood's latest work, The Dropper, to retailers' shelves as a polycarbonate-and-aluminum CD, Liquid Audio announced that the title was simultaneously being made available as a full-album digital download. Liquid reports that this is the first time a Blue Note title has been released in a digital format at the same time as its physical release.
An intriguing loudspeaker technology which generates believable surround effects from only two small enclosures will be arriving at stores later this year, according to a February 24 announcement from Nirotek America Corporation.
One of the most enduring obstacles confronting audio engineers has been how to generate powerful low bass without the need for large loudspeaker enclosures. It's been generally accepted that really effective low bass means moving large quantities of air, which in turn means large drivers in large cabinets. Large loudspeakers, unfortunately, don't meet the approval of many dcor-conscious homeowners. It's a longstanding problem for music lovers, home theater fans, and custom installers.
On March 10, Tymphany Corporation and Danish Sound Technology (DST) announced a merger of the two companies, funded by Vantage Point Venture Partners. The combined company, to be called Tymphany Corporation, will have its headquarters in Cupertino, CA.
The intentional deafening of monkeys by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has provoked a strongly worded protest by Paul McCartney. In a letter dated July 6, McCartney complained to UCSF Chancellor Michael Bishop that "there can be no excuse for inflicting such misery" on animals used in such experiments. The letter was the latest salvo fired in a controversy going back to early February.