Re-Tales

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Julie Mullins  |  Nov 01, 2022  |  12 comments
Audiophilia often leads the afflicted on a long journey, but no one need take that journey alone: Many audiophiles seek the company of like-minded people, on-line or in person, to exchange tips and advice, buy and sell gear, and share skills, fun, and musical experiences. And those who don't seek audiophile companionship? Perhaps they should.
Julie Mullins  |  Oct 06, 2022  |  23 comments
Attracting new customers is essential for brick-and-mortar dealerships' long-term survival. Over the last several years, many b&m dealerships have continued to expand into home automation and custom installation. Home theater is also undergoing a resurgence. These services can support—and complement—two-channel audio-equipment sales.
Julie Mullins  |  Aug 25, 2022  |  6 comments
It's not every day that someone opens a new brick-and-mortar hi-fi store. A variety of factors make the prospects of such a venture uncertain at best. Hi-fi industry veteran Michael Klein, though, has the guts and seasoned-salesman charm to make a go of it.
Julie Mullins  |  Jul 28, 2022  |  6 comments
Like many fans of music on vinyl, I've grown accustomed to waiting for preordered records. For several years, record-pressing plants have been oversubscribed; there just aren't enough presses to keep up with demand. When vinyl declined in the 1980s—replaced first by cassette tape and then by CD—old presses were abandoned, falling to rust and disrepair before the vinyl revival, leaving the industry with limited capacity.
Julie Mullins  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  3 comments
In last month's Re-Tales, I discussed what was happening on the vacuum-tube landscape, especially tube shortages resulting from Russia's war on Ukraine and its consequences for trade. Tube availability is, of course, a small concern compared to continuing Russian atrocities and the resulting suffering of Ukrainians. Still, it's a question tubed-electronics lovers and makers must grapple with, and we're a hi-fi magazine. So: If that Russian tube supply is curtailed or boycotted, what are the alternatives for manufacturers and individual buyers?
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  |  3 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.

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