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Closing of B&O shops - reasons

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Frinton, UK
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Andrew posted on Thu, Aug 25 2016 11:25 AM

It is sad that so many B&O shops are closing with just a few B&O owned shops remaining, however I dont think it is altogether surprising. 

I mostly shop local but high streets in general are changing massively, they have become mecca to ladies fashion - I went into an M&S shop the other day and 2/3 of it was dominated by female fashion, the remainder was kids or mens clothes. The same with the high street, make up shops, nail bars, places to eat, fashion shops, discount shops. No music shops, HiFi or TV shops or anything that I would be interested in. No more traditional pubs where you can smoke an e-cig and have a pint without kids running round and people eating gastro lunches, no more junk/antique shops in fact nothing that would entice a 50 year old make into a high street. Maybe John Lewis though but hardly worth the effort after driving clogged streets and extortionate parking charges.

The situation doesn't get better on the outskirts of our major towns and cities, what with parking restrictions everywhere - I can understand the argument for being green but train prices are also extortionate.

Unfortunately the majority of the general public prefer to buy TV's or Hifi's from out of town retail parks alongside the likes of B&Q, Pet and Garden places etc. 

I don't know what the answer is and am saddened that our high streets have become so uninteresting - the B&O shops closing make them even less interesting. Fortunately it's not all bad - there are places like Norwich that do have a B&O shop, do have record shops and everything else that appeals to both men and women - and it is worth the 60 mile drive. 

I'd be interested to know what peoples views are of their high streets and if there is a trend that the shops are closing where the clothes shops dominate or if it is due to a change in consumer purchasing habits - maybe if it is a change in habit combined with clothes shops then a move maybe to have B&O in John Lewis in the same way they do in Selfridges and Harrods - at least we would be able to get to see new stuff in the flesh and compared to the competition I am sure they would do very well?

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North East France
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benoit replied on Sun, Aug 28 2016 7:43 PM

Try Big Smile it's much less expensive and a very beautiful place.

Chris Townsend
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Badsey, UK
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Re positioning, i doubt that B&O would find much joy in John Lewis, though i'd love to be proved wrong.....they stand a chance of selling some units in Selfridges and Harrods, as some of the customers are flush, and there is a bit of feel good about shopping there......John Lewis is a more functional experience, and far from the worst, but i suspect very few of their customers are of a mindset to drop 5k on a tv.......

Re the changing face of the high street, its a bit depressing in that they are so some ways thats isn't all bad, where we have lost in variety, we have probably gained in average overall quality and consistency, and i;m not fan of the coffee and sandwich chains....i am optimistic to a degree though, as when it pertains to food, for numerous reasons i guess, there has been a decent increase in independent food providers, from pop ups, to butchers and fruit and veg stores - i see some of this around me, and my supermkt visits have dwindled happily, so its made a real difference....mayeb just a London thing, but still.....

Back to how this all pertains to AV, a lot of comments above have taken a very critical macro view, and some of the critiques of the modern economy are fair, but i look at this it or loathe it, people in general value convenience over quality, we see this when it comes to music, and with people generally listening to music a lot more whilst mobile, the money goes into quality headphones first....thoughts about spending premium+ money on a B&O system are very distant........the question for B&O is whether there is enough of an audience for them to be profitable, i certainly hope so......i've got plenty of pretty well off friends in London, virtually none of whom have any B&O product, nor even considered a purchase.....

I was in John Lewis just today looking at their LG OLED TVs(very impressive) and they were £4,995. There was a fair crowd looking at them too.

I'm pretty much alone in our airline now Chris Harrison has left, in owning much B&O. Most just buy Bose for whatever reason and bleat on about its bass etcErm.. Most perceive B&O as still mostly dressed up Phillips, and think I'm mad.

Beovision 10, Beolab 2, Beosound 2(old Skool) Beolit 15, Beoplay A2 Active

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North East France
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benoit replied on Sun, Aug 28 2016 7:49 PM

Chris Townsend:
I was in John Lewis just today looking at their LG OLED TVs(very impressive) and they were £4,995. There was a fair crowd looking at them too.

But how many of these spectators will end up buying it? I think it's the same for B&O. Not enough customers willing to spend that much.

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Just my two cents.....

I think, that there are three reasons, why they have to close.

1. Missing advertisments: If someone has never heard of the brand, why should he look for a shop

2. "B&O only" means no compare. If you see another tv next to a B&O you see the differences, if there is not the possibility to compare you see just nice looking expensive devices. You cannot compare the sound (and size and the design) of the beolabs to other brands or the picture quality of the tv's

3. "B&O only" means for many people a barrier to go in, because it is just for the "rich people". If you don't go in, you won't buy, even if the money was there.

Problems like a grubby shop, where you can see dust in the shelfs are not B&O specific, but in a "B&O only" shop it must not happen when you represent a premium manufacturer. Accessories like cables have to be in the shop, because the cables are specific. The beoplay line has to be in a B&O shop either, not the note, that you can buy it cheaper online.  All these "small" problems are in "my shop around the corner". So i buy 200 km away. I really felt a shame, when a friend told the story of his first B&O experience: he was told to take the beovision 11 from the shop exhibition for the full amount of money, while he was asking for other colours - now he has an LG. Another friend wanted to add BL18 to his Sony tv. They could not tell him if it is possible or not - he has bought other speakers.

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Sandyb replied on Sun, Aug 28 2016 9:01 PM

yeah, difficult to know how they're perceived, beyond just being very expensive and very stylish.......i'm hopeful up to a point, as Apple et al have shown that there is a market for tech to be stylish.....they might need to mindful that the price of achieving that style, and yes ease of connectivity, doesn't get out of hand, then they have a future....and i dont see the mainstream TV manufacturers at least getting anywhere near B&O's design standards........when i was in Selfridges last week, there was still no comparison, style wise, between the Beovisions and the rest......anyway my BV14 arrives on friday, reasonably excited....

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w5bno123 replied on Sun, Aug 28 2016 10:40 PM

What limited company is it owned by?

What about questioning the small independent AV installers that are also limited businesses running their businesses mainly from a van???
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South West, UK
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moxxey replied on Mon, Aug 29 2016 8:18 AM


3. "B&O only" means for many people a barrier to go in, because it is just for the "rich people". If you don't go in, you won't buy, even if the money was there.

Correct. And just about everyone I know is in some way affected by financial changes: GBP falling, Brexit-worry and so on. If you have a retail store, on the high street, aimed at the general public, you have to sell products in numbers to make it work, realistically.

I've mentioned this a couple of times, but I walk past my local B&O store at lunch, on the way back from town, and there's no-one ever in the store. How they make a sale on, say, a Wednesday, is beyond me.

A B&O store is now a very strange experience for me, for two reasons:

1) Dealers are more reluctant to take trade-ins, unlike in previous years, and, if they do, the amount they offer is relatively small - you'll be lucky if you get much more than £1000 for a BV11-40, where a BV14-40 is over £5000. Until a few years ago, I had a working cycle of trading in my B&O TV. I'd buy one, keep it two years, trade it in against the latest model and the dealer always supported me with a decent trade-in price, making it very viable. Not now. Those days are gone.

2) They don't have much stock. Like I've mentioned above, I've been in a few stores and have decided to make an impulse purchase, to then find they don't have the product in stock....but they can order it. Surely the entire point of going in to a retailer is that you can pick up the product, in person, and you don't have to wait for delivery?

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What about questioning the small independent AV installers that are also limited businesses running their businesses mainly from a van???

My company on its website and all communications clearly shows the company number so the client knows who they are handing their money over to.

On the B&O website the store finder gives no such information, which to some unenlightened consumers could imply that all the stores are owned and backed by B&O.

With all the store closures of independent B&O shops I think it's important that the prospective client should know who they are buying from to make sure there hard earned cash is safe. That's my point.

Looking at some of the accounts of these closed B&O shops they made frightening loses which meant creditors losing money. On some of the accounts of the closed shops it also appears they may have been trading whilst insolvent, unless the directors had given personal guarantees to cover the debts.

Back to the reasons for the shop closures the answer is simple really, they are too

many, costs are too high and the current business model needs a radical overhaul.

In the future probably and (hopefully for B&O) they will sell more and more products that will

be bought directly from B&O or

from large retailers both online and in store and you are quite right installed by men in vans!

The van men i have met run efficient, well costed operations, have both great experience and expertise along with providing excellent onsite service.

With virtually every other manufacturer it works this way B&O can IMHO be no different.

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Just a brief note about the B&O dealer in Colchester, UK.  According to their letter heading they are a B&O franchise owned and operated under a franchise agreement by Intelligent AV Solutions Ltd. I have bought TVs, speakers etc. from them.  They are invariably helpful and courteous, and always seem ready just to have a chat about B&O.

One factor that I have found useful when hearing/ reading about opinions which may differ from mine, is to remember the old adage that it is not what you are looking at which is important, but from where. Or, as someone once wrote, "nothings good or bad but thinking makes it so" , or something like that.



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