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Sad Day for San Francisco

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Earle
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Earle posted on Wed, Feb 17 2016 4:54 PM

In my inbox today...

As I was saying in a previous post on another thread, there used to be 3 in the San Francisco Bay Area, then 2, then 3 again, then 2, and now, apparently there will only be one.  Sad

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mjmedlo
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Linder,

I'm confused as to why you think the pro partner idea is hurtful?

This allows for a mix and match of product, incorporation of third party ideas, use

of home automation product, including lifts that hide televisions (which can be done with any B&O chassis now).

Seems to me that maybe you should consult a pro partner and give them a shot at your project.

I've done several projects as a pro partner already and am finding it to be a nice offering for folks.

I currently am installing a project with 15 panels, 12 are Bang & Olufsen and 3 are third party brands.

I have found that this is a nice solution as with the limitations on size in B&O the ability to sell third party

product, which has heretofore been limited by B&O corporate, is a major plus in the installation game.

In addition, through the BLGW one can accomplish almost anything via IP control.  Again, as a brand

loyalist, I hope you'll reconsider and give a pro partner a try.  Even it it's not meBig Smile

Tifoso48
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This is indeed becoming a very concerning trend - to wit:

 

The Washington DC - Maryland - Virginia tee-state area is one of the top 5 markets in the USA. It is a very affluent area with a massive population.

Not so very long ago there were 3 stores - in in DC, one in Bethesda Maryland - both franchise and a company store at the Tysons Galleria Virginia.

First closed DC than Maryland and two weeks ago they closed the company store.

One of B&O's biggest problems in the USA is distribution and name recognition.  For this brand to thrive it must have showrooms in key markets and to withdraw from markets like San Francisco and Washington DC makes no sense whatsoever. 

What kind of message does it send if the stores in these key markets can't be profitable?

The US market is vastly underperforming and shutting down key stores is not going to improve this picture.

 

 

Earle
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Earle replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 7:45 PM

I agree with every word, Tifoso.

The first store to close in the San Francisco area was Walnut Creek (talk about where 'old money' people live). And then, the next one to close was Santana Row in San Jose - which is an area always compared to Rodeo Drive (not quite, but sure, I guess). And now, San Francisco, to which I know George Lucas was a client (we all know the secrets of our local stores).

The only unnerving issue is the trend of franchise/company location closures. This post has only made me more aware of what seems to be happening in the hometowns of other users. Where that will leave the company in the future, is really anyone's guess. I will say that direct sales without a see/hear/touch will be very difficult - especially with the see/hear/touch nature of B&O products.

Earle
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Earle replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 7:51 PM

linder:

This store closing is really an amazing development. San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the US to live in.  However the residents of this city have very high incomes and are definitely in the B&O demographics.  Why didn't B&O open a new store somewhere in the city where the rent would be much less.  Union square has some of the high rental costs in the city.

This is just another reason that many of us to believe that B&O is leaving the US.

 

Oddly enough, B&O opened a second location in San Francisco (Townsend). Although I never visited this location, it was situated in what was referred to as the 'design district'. It was in a lower-rent area, among all the furniture whole-sale warehouses. It's also where all the nightclubs tend to be... again, because of the lower rent nature of the area.

I think this location lasted about 3-5 years before closing permanently (not great, if you ask me).

linder
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linder replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 8:01 PM

mjmedlo,

Thanks for your comments.  There is nothing wrong with a pro partner.  There is intense competition among pro partners here which is good for the consumer but not so good for someone like B&O.  The reason is Bang and Olufsen has been poorly marketed here and thus is almost unknown in the US.  Furthermore B&O has not announced anything.  I have no idea of any pro partner selling B&O products.

Ultimately I am going to use a pro partner to install a home video system that will be really cool with a very modern minimalist look.  Mjmedlo...Sorry I can't give you any business. Thanks

 

Mark-N
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Mark-N replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 9:01 PM

I also am old enough to remember when B&O was sold in hi-fi stores.  That is where I saw and fell in love with Bang & Olufsen... 8 years old at Pecar's in Detroit Michigan!  That experience stayed with me until I could afford to buy Bang & Olufsen.  Granted I purchased McIntosh first, but that love affair was short lived!  I believe they moved to company stores to prevent the salesman from redirecting the customer to another brand.

But... who are the real Bang & Olufsen customers?  Is it someone who is looking to buy a pair of BeoLab 18's but can be steered to buy a boxy "Totem" speaker instead because the salesman says it sounds just as good?  I don't think so. The B&O customer has to be interested in the style and flexibility just as much as the sound.  Your wife has certain criteria, like hidden components, that steers her to certain brands, I think [potential] B&O customers are not easily persuaded to buy something else.

I think that independent or pro-partners could work.

Sal
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Sal replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 10:06 PM

Mark-N:
But... who are the real Bang & Olufsen customers?

Mark asks a very good question, who are these people? From everything I've read and heard about pro-partners, I am not the right customer for them. I don't buy 3+ screens at once, and I take my time in making any significant purchase, which for me, is a tiny sum compared with the installations that mjmedlo has done and linder are considering (I'm assuming Cool). Where would a small-potatoes customer like me go?

Mark-N:
Is it someone who is looking to buy a pair of BeoLab 18's but can be steered to buy a boxy "Totem" speaker instead because the salesman says it sounds just as good?  I don't think so. The B&O customer has to be interested in the style and flexibility just as much as the sound.

Secondly, Mark's answer is very astute, and I think even true today. With so few B&O stores and limited exposure and market saturation, B&O customers are those who already know what they want, and merely need a dealer to audition and view the merchandise in person. I highly doubt that any sales person will sway a customer away from B&O if that mind is already made up... but what about those whose mind isn't made up? That's the crux isn't it... How does B&O grow in this market?

Is B&O Play a bigger player (pardon the pun) as the gateway drug to bigger B&O purchases?  I don't know, but from all accounts, the current crop of Play products is doing well, which is wonderful.

I can only speak for myself, when I moved away from B&O for a time, I did a TON of research before settling in on B&W speakers with a Rotel receiver. I went into the hi end audio shop knowing exactly what I wanted, and after I listened, I bought. The salesperson didn't do anything apart from pressing a few buttons. I wonder if that's how it'll be for B&O in the end, especially if they go back to that model of being one of many brands next to one another. The only differentiating factor is the customer in the end isn't it?

mjmedlo
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mjmedlo replied on Sat, Feb 20 2016 12:12 AM

There are several B&O pro partners. 

You should call BeoCare and ask for the closest one to you

There are some good guys out there selling B&O

mjmedlo
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mjmedlo replied on Sat, Feb 20 2016 12:12 AM

There are several B&O pro partners. 

You should call BeoCare and ask for the closest one to you

There are some good guys out there selling B&O

congodog
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good!

congodog
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good!

Piaf
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Piaf replied on Sat, Feb 20 2016 3:37 AM

Personally I find this a tragedy; if the demographics don’t work in San Francisco, where DO they work? The US is too important a market to walk away from…. if a company plans to survive.

 

As for B&O service, it is far below appalling. Try terrible, condescending, oh what the heck rotten. Service in Vancouver is handled through Seattle and I have never in my life seen anything remotely on this level…. and the problem goes up to the DM who laughed at me saying, “Oh, so he [the service tech] blew you off.”  Did he ever!

 

That said, the dealer in Toronto was not only polite, but seemed genuinely interested in my “vintage” B&O products. They also provided the “feet” for my Beolink 1000. If all dealers were like the Toronto dealer, B&O would have a rosy future.

 

However when a company doesn’t appear to value their customers, one has a genuine right to be concerned and I know we all want B&O to survive.

 

Sad day indeed Earle.

 

At least we have each other to keep our older B&O equipment going.

 

Jeff

Beogram 4000, Beogram 4002, Beogram 4004, Beogram 8000, Beogram 8002, Beogram 1602. Beogram 4500 CD player, B&O CDX player, Beocord 4500, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 8004, Beocord 9000, Beomaster 1000, Beomaster 1600, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 4400, Beomaster 4500, Beolab 5000, Beomaster 5000, BeoCenter 9000. BeoSound Century,  S-45.2, S-45.2, S-75, S-75, M-75, M-100, MC 120.2 speakers; B&O Illuminated Sign (with crown & red logo). B&O grey & black Illuminated Sign, B&O black Plexiglas dealer sign, B&O ash tray, B&O (Orrefors) dealer award vase,  B&O Beotime Clock. Navy blue B&O baseball cap, B&O T-shirt X2, B&O black ball point pen, B&O Retail Management Binder

 

Earle
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Earle replied on Mon, Feb 29 2016 4:36 PM

Well, that's all folks... Sad

 

Piaf
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Piaf replied on Mon, Feb 29 2016 7:35 PM

One can only wonder if Vancouver is next. What a unfortunate development. No - thumbs down

Jeff

Beogram 4000, Beogram 4002, Beogram 4004, Beogram 8000, Beogram 8002, Beogram 1602. Beogram 4500 CD player, B&O CDX player, Beocord 4500, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 8004, Beocord 9000, Beomaster 1000, Beomaster 1600, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 4400, Beomaster 4500, Beolab 5000, Beomaster 5000, BeoCenter 9000. BeoSound Century,  S-45.2, S-45.2, S-75, S-75, M-75, M-100, MC 120.2 speakers; B&O Illuminated Sign (with crown & red logo). B&O grey & black Illuminated Sign, B&O black Plexiglas dealer sign, B&O ash tray, B&O (Orrefors) dealer award vase,  B&O Beotime Clock. Navy blue B&O baseball cap, B&O T-shirt X2, B&O black ball point pen, B&O Retail Management Binder

 

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