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Another US Closing...

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Sal
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Sal Posted: Fri, Jun 30 2017 5:49 PM

I just received an email informing me that B&O Pasadena recently closed, and that I should visit B&O Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for 10% off the total purchase. Wow. Does this mean that there are only two B&O dealers in Los Angeles? (Mir Audio and B&O Rodeo Drive?)

linder
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linder replied on Fri, Jun 30 2017 7:05 PM

Sal:

I just received an email informing me that B&O Pasadena recently closed, and that I should visit B&O Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for 10% off the total purchase. Wow. Does this mean that there are only two B&O dealers in Los Angeles? (Mir Audio and B&O Rodeo Drive?)

It seems there are now only 15 stores in the United States.  I am starting to have a bad feeling about this.

SHEFFIELD
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SHEFFIELD replied on Fri, Jun 30 2017 7:09 PM

That is very sad to hear. I'm surprised that there such a small number of dealers in the USA - whilst it is a relatively new brand in the States, I would have thought there would be enough interest in the brand to sustain a number of stores...

Beophile
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Beophile replied on Fri, Jun 30 2017 7:19 PM

Considering there are only about 15 stores left in the entire US, I think you'll be OK roughing it with only 2 stores in your home town..lol.

 

I understand B&O is moving away from stores and into using pro partners, and frankly I believe working with pro partners is a great thing for B&O, but if people don’t have a place to physically see B&O’s products, I fear B&O will become a distant memory in people’s minds.  I’m not sure what B&O should do.  Clearly having numerous costly stores in the US didn’t work, but I don’t think having no physical presence in the US is going to work either.  Maybe they should either add kiosks to high end malls, add mini showrooms within larger Audi dealerships, partner with certain furniture stores to display products, have mobile stores setup in a trailer that cycles between 4 cities every month, give current customers incentives to allow future customers a chance to see products, or even have a store within a store at certain Best Buys.  Regardless of what they do, I know I need to see the products I’m thinking of buying.  

 

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Fri, Jun 30 2017 8:29 PM

Beophile:

......but if people don’t have a place to physically see B&O’s products, I fear B&O will become a distant memory in people’s minds.

Absolutely 100% correct.

Who in their right mind makes a high-end premium purchase without seeing the product - unless the product is extremely well known and in huge demand.

B&O are neither at the moment.

 

Earle
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Earle replied on Fri, Jun 30 2017 9:11 PM

I got that same e-mail, now that my local Palo Alto store has officially closed. 

It was interesting that, even at store-closing, the best offer they (Palo Alto) were giving was the same 10% off (new BeoPlay products, that is) that Beverly Hills is offering - but BV's 10% extends beyond the BeoPlay range. 

Not having a place to experience products is one thing... but what about service for existing owners? 

It's a real shame.

MediaBobNY
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MediaBobNY replied on Fri, Jun 30 2017 11:16 PM

Beophile:
Considering there are only about 15 stores left in the entire US, I think you'll be OK roughing it with only 2 stores in your home town..lol.

There used to be 7 in the NY Metropolitan area.  Down to 1..

Sal
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Sal replied on Fri, Jun 30 2017 11:31 PM

Beophile:
Considering there are only about 15 stores left in the entire US, I think you'll be OK roughing it with only 2 stores in your home town..lol.

Love your sense of Humor! And agree that actually seeing something before buying it is key. I wonder what B&O have up their sleeves?

 

 

 

kimchr
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kimchr replied on Sat, Jul 1 2017 12:54 AM

While it is sad to learn about one store closing after the other I was very possitively surprised to see B&O having a demo room at the Axpona Hifi Show in Chicago earlier this year. I stopped by the room more than once to listen to the Beolab 90s. The room was quite large and most of the speaker range was present but mainly the 90s were demoed. The speakers seemed to attract quite some interest. The room was full of people when I was there. For some time i wondered myself why B&O did not attend events like. While waiting for the elevator outside the room another guest asked me what I found most interesting on this floor. I did not hesitate to say "The Beolab 90s". The guy replied, "oh yes they where amazing and can you believe, the source was a TV!"

Chris Townsend
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I've been saying it for years, everyone I talk to about B&O usually comes out with the standard "oh I wouldn't go into one of those stores" They'll happily spend £2,000 at Bose for a surround sound system, but not in a B&O.

There's often a perception that it's not for folk like them, the could never afford that(it's for millionaires) or it's just average gear in a nice wrapping. These are colleagues earning around £100,000, all sporting nice cars and watches etc. So the finer things aren't lost on them.

For shops selling unique luxury goods to be closing in affluent areas of cities(Dubai/London/LA!), there's got to be a reason and it's not one that's being addressed. It will carry on until the brand just doesn't have the network of dealers that are close enough to be bothered with anymore. How they manage in the US is beyond me.

The corporate identity is a bit broken, and has been for years. Yet more shop refurbishments, and fluffy cushions won't cut the mustard I'm afraid.

Beovision Eclipse, BeoLab 17,Beolit 15, Beoplay A2 Active

TWG
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TWG replied on Sat, Jul 1 2017 7:41 AM

Bang & Olufsen has a few construction sites since years:


- reliability
- quality (Made in China... and yes, the Chinese people don't want to have products "Made in China", too, if they spend money for a specific brand!)
- design (since David Lewis passed away... you clearly see that loss in their product design)
- software
- marketing

... and there's absolutely no visible sign of change! The CEO and management don't seem to care for the company.

I bet that there are more than enough great people like e.g. Geoff Martin working at Bang & Olufsen and they should have the chance to built the products to be proud of like they did in the past. If Geoff quits or retires from Bang & Olufsen they can stop producing speakers, too. Wink

PL212
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PL212 replied on Fri, Nov 3 2017 9:17 PM

Just a quick note on this -- large cities in the States have had dedicated stores going back to at least the 1980s (Chicago, San Francisco, NYC).  It would be worth trying to come up with a history of the company's sudden rise and fall, at least in number of stores, in North America. I think it coincided with the push for B1 stores worldwide -- part of the boom of the late 90s.  Suddenly Chicago went from having one main dealer, on Oak Street, to having one on South State and elsewhere.  Similarly, the old Upper East Side store in New York had a UWS, Soho, and other internal competitors.  All this did not end well in the post-2001 world. Coupled with the rise of online retailing and the shift towards digital music, this over-expansion seems to have been a really bad idea.

Am shocked to see we are down to 11 non-cobranded stores in the USA...

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Sat, Nov 4 2017 12:31 AM

I'm seeing other severe problems brewing. No product inventory (which is acceptable when delivery times are reasonable) with unreasonabley long delivery times. My dealer was furious that B&O corporate took over three weeks to ship me a Moment. There is no longer tech support for the U.S. Yes. I said it as I meant it. After closing tech support in the U.S. and routing all calls to Denmark, it is no longer possible to get through to tech support. I've tried many times. Nothing.The call gets a recording that says all lines are busy and just terminates the call. Thus, there IS no tech support for the U.S. Only 15 trained dealers and no tech support. Not a good sign.

Stan
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Stan replied on Sat, Nov 4 2017 8:14 PM

Gloom, doom, gloom... 

A business that can't make money has to close.  Do these closings mark the beginning / continuation of a "death spiral" caused by lowering brand awareness,  quality, uninspired products or a "generational" change in market conditions (creative destruction)?   It is probably a combination of both, but Apple is the only consumer electronics brand that I can think of that has a thriving physical retail presence (and B&O is no Apple).  In the US, Best Buy is hanging by a thread and is probably being supported by Samsung, LG and the like so Amazon is not their only major retail outlet (similar to the way the toy companies supported ToyRus while it was dying).

Clearly, the retail world is changing. How many high-end boutique audio brands have their own stores (none that I know of)?  Do you keep banging your head against the wall and wonder why it hurts, or look for a different way?

I've said this a few times over the years.  I definitely do not have the answers, probably because there are no easy ones... 

Good luck B&O.  I hope you find your wayway...

 

 

Michael
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Michael replied on Wed, Nov 8 2017 7:26 PM

The Pasadena store closing is part of a bigger plan. The Rodeo drive store (formerly corporately owned) is now privately owned with huge improvements in the works.  Additionally a brand new B&O store, owned by the same private owner, is opening next Wednesday 11/15 is Costa Mesa. 

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