Re-Tales

Sort By:  Post Date TitlePublish Date
Julie Mullins  |  May 19, 2022  |  12 comments
Unless you live under a rock, you've followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine. You know something about sanctions against Russia and Russia's responses to those sanctions. If, in addition to not living under a rock, you're a tube-audio aficionado or electric guitar nut, you may have thought about a likely consequence of that war that's far less momentous than the destruction and carnage we see on TV: Will I be able to get new tubes for my amplifier? Especially those lovely Russia-made tubes.
Julie Mullins  |  May 04, 2022  |  16 comments
You never forget your first time. Ask any audiophile about that first moment hearing music through a good hi-fi system—how it rocked their world and changed their life. Maybe it was at a friend's parents' house when they were a kid. Often, though, it was the first time they found themselves in a hi-fi dealership, back in the day.
Julie Mullins  |  Mar 30, 2022  |  2 comments
Selling hi-fi gear online is hardly new. If you count mail-order sales, which is much the same thing, it's been happening since before amazon.com was a discount bookstore. Long before.
Julie Mullins  |  Feb 24, 2022  |  0 comments
Today's audio distributors have their hands full, now more than ever. As I've discussed previously in this space, COVID-related failures in the global supply chain and related, large increases in the cost of freight have impacted audio just like most other industries.
Julie Mullins  |  Feb 09, 2022  |  18 comments
Is combining a record store with a hi-fi dealership a radical idea? Maybe not: It could be a way to reel in new, music-loving hi-fi customers where they're most comfortable, in record stores searching for music.
Julie Mullins  |  Jan 05, 2022  |  14 comments
You may have heard that many hi-fi companies—manufacturers, distributors, and dealers—have done very well during the pandemic years. Some reported their best years in business—ever. With COVID-19 forcing people to stay at home, people sought diversion through home entertainment, including music. The industry benefited.
Julie Mullins  |  Nov 18, 2021  |  14 comments
Finding fresh approaches to doing business isn't easy, especially in the current climate. But now it's becoming essential. Audio manufacturers, distributors, and dealers must figure out how to attract new customers while continuing to provide service for existing customers. Neither thing is easily accomplished in an era of change. But failure isn't an option. People with something to sell must connect with customers, and vice versa. Access is key.
Julie Mullins  |  Oct 28, 2021  |  5 comments
As I noted in previous Re-Tales columns, audio dealerships that stick to outmoded models after the world has changed may find themselves in danger of extinction. Such conflict between old and new has been with us since the beginning of time, or at least since the internet became ubiquitous. But the pandemic and its economic stresses and stimuli have accelerated the pace of change. So, how are dealers, um, dealing?
Julie Mullins  |  Sep 30, 2021  |  44 comments
Lately I've been hearing stories about people getting back into hi-fi, often from the people themselves. Some are buying new gear, but others have dug out and dusted off older equipment. Demand for electronics repair services was surging even before the pandemic. Once it struck, once and future audiophiles stuck at home plumbed their basements, attics, and storage units and pulled out old hi-fi components, hoping to resurrect them, only to find they weren't working, or not well.

Should they get 'em fixed?

Julie Mullins  |  Sep 01, 2021  |  2 comments
A few audio retailers have recently closed their doors due to pandemic-related hardship or retirement—Lyric Hi-Fi in NYC is a landmark case. So it's refreshing to hear about a longstanding bricks-and-mortar dealer- ship that has avoided that fate: House of Stereo in Jacksonville, Florida.
Julie Mullins  |  Jul 13, 2021  |  0 comments
Photo: John Atkinson

As the pandemic abates and reopening progresses, times are still uncertain. Industries worldwide continue to be obstructed. Parts and materials costs have risen sharply. Shipping rates, and shipping demand, have spiked. The recent Suez Canal blockage didn't help. All this has led to widespread supply-chain difficulties.

The audio business is not immune. Disruption and delays have troubled manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and customers for several months.

Julie Mullins  |  Jun 23, 2021  |  6 comments
Change, it seems, is a byword for audio dealerships that aim to stay afloat, and Hanson Audio Video has seen its share of changes. Events and unconventional outreach are now integral to the company's approach.
Julie Mullins  |  May 20, 2021  |  16 comments
To borrow Lyric Hi-Fi owner Leonard Bellezza's words from last month's Re-Tales, the traditional audiophile customer base "is graying."

That doesn't mean the future is bleak—not necessarily. Many in the industry have hope for hi-fi's future. For that potential future to be realized, however, audio dealers must adapt. Interest in better sound seems to be rising. Consider vinyl's resurgence; regardless of your views on vinyl's ultimate fidelity, it's a big step up from the earlier fashion for MP3s and cheap earbuds. (There's good news on that front, too: Those earbuds morphed into Beats headphones, then Beats into good-quality headphones.

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 13, 2021  |  19 comments
New York's Lyric Hi-Fi & Video is one of high-end audio's longest-standing and most legendary institutions. In a recent telephone conversation, Leonard Bellezza, Lyric's owner and president, confirmed what many in this industry have long heard rumored: Lyric is closing.
Julie Mullins  |  Mar 22, 2021  |  10 comments
"I'm going to be making as much of a commitment to the brick-and-mortar [dealers] as we can," says Bryston's James Tanner.

In Re-Tales and in Industry Update, I've written about some of the ways the pandemic has accelerated changes in the hi-fi business. Government-mandated safety measures, the absence of audio shows, and a marketplace that was already changing have combined to force companies to get creative about how they reach customers, both to sell products and to provide service.

A few established dealers have closed or are preparing to. Some can no longer afford inventory. Some have just retired. Others, though, report that 2020 was an extraordinarily good year.

Pages

X