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Part 2 : LifeStyle AV - Changes..

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Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Jul 30 2017 4:09 PM

Well Lee, I appreciate you taking the time to let us know what's up, appreciate your openness and forthrightness as well. An interesting but sad conundrum you faced with B&O, and I'm very sad to say that B&O's responses and such don't surprise me. I know a former dealer, who B&O has treated very badly, he's run into the same bureaucratic issues and such magnified even more. Sadly, it seems that despite the great acoustical engineers like our friend Geoff Martin, the management seems bound and determined to smother the company with a pillow.

As for Loewe, I believe it'll be a good move. I remember for a brief time in the 90's Loewe and B&O were importing TVs here in the US, and the Loewe offering was very desirable, I didn't wind up with one only because I already had a Proton. I've often looked at the Loewe web site in Europe with lust, wishing they were imported here.

I wish you luck and success in your new endeavor, and thanks again for all your work keeping Beoworld alive and herding the cats around here.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

valve1
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valve1 replied on Mon, Jul 31 2017 6:39 AM

Lee you are like a spider on a B&O web ! You have been dealing with it and its unfortunately failed dealers for long enough to have more than " a feel" for whats going on. Your business acumen and experience has stood you well so the best of luck with your adaptive strategies. Brand loyalties don't pay the tax man.

Im still a B&O enthusiast  but fast becoming a "classic B&O" enthusiast.

TWG
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TWG replied on Mon, Jul 31 2017 7:52 AM

Lee, thank your for both of your long posts.
It officially supports the impression we have for quite some time: Bang & Olufsen works hard to destroy itself since a few years and is still to ignorant and arrogant to admit that it was time for a change years ago!

This is very sad and hurts from the loving B&O fan perspective. There are very great people like Geoff Martin working at Bang & Olufsen and B&O needs more of them, especially in top management, marketing, design and customer service.

Beoworld is a precious place: Great people with great knowledge! Where else do you find this? Not very often  and that's why I'm a gold member since years, just to support the community and the work such a website and forum needs.
I like the way we all interact in this community and I'm thankful for this!

Lee, I had the pleasure of having personal contact (at least by email) with you. Your way of doing business is very appreciated. It's very good that you want to keep your standards in business and private life high!
This is the only way to go through life! Being/getting worse is always easy and can be done by everyone, but keeping and raising your standards is the only right thing! And it is  required in the big game called life.


Lee, I wish you all the best for your future. You deserve it!

MJBeo
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MJBeo replied on Mon, Jul 31 2017 10:23 AM

All the best Lee, a hard but wise decision indeed!

Beosystem 5500    BV7-32 MKIII + BL14.4 + MCL2P & CX100    AppleTV4 + Lintronic -238    4 link rooms with MCL2 A / MCL2 A/V + RL60.2 / CX50 & Cona / S45.2    Various Vintage restore objects

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AdamS replied on Mon, Jul 31 2017 1:14 PM

Best of luck to you, Lee, in your new venture, and I hope B&O come to realise the error of their ways before it's too late.

As to Loewe, I always viewed them as purveyors of cut-price B&O copies. Looks like I might have had things the wrong way round! Wink

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Mon, Jul 31 2017 3:23 PM

AdamS:

As to Loewe, I always viewed them as purveyors of cut-price B&O copies. Looks like I might have had things the wrong way round! Wink

I can't see that happening.

What B&O do is pure craftsmanship when it comes to construction of their products.  Ultra-premium everything.  This costs a lot of money - not to buy, but to produce.  The intricate details B&O pursue to make their products so special are incredible. Not as if their marketing departments say anything.. it's some kind of secret, I assume.

I don't think Loewe are even interested in this. They're looking for the middle ground, where it's better made and much nicer looking than mass-market - at a price most people can afford.  Back to my BMW 7-Series vs Rolls Royce Phantom analogy.

I think there's a gaping hole in the market for somewhere between Ultra-Premium and Mass-Market - but that's just my opinion.

Lee

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Mon, Jul 31 2017 4:48 PM

9 LEE:

I think there's a gaping hole in the market for somewhere between Ultra-Premium and Mass-Market - but that's just my opinion.

Lee

That market slot used to be held by B&O, when I was first attracted to the brand it was because the aesthetics and performance were far better than average, but the cost was high but not nose bleed high, it was an aspirational thing, but you could still save a bit longer and afford it.

Now B&O have decided to chase the ultra rich market, with silly high prices, which with the issues they've been having lately is unjustified IMO.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Martin
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Martin replied on Mon, Jul 31 2017 4:55 PM

A sound decision that follows the trend. Most of us feel the party is happening at the house next door when it comes to B&O of today. Good luck and many good future deals.

Millemissen
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Jeff:

That market slot used to be held by B&O, when I was first attracted to the brand it was because the aesthetics and performance were far better than average, but the cost was high but not nose bleed high, it was an aspirational thing, but you could still save a bit longer and afford it.

Now B&O have decided to chase the ultra rich market, with silly high prices, which with the issues they've been having lately is unjustified IMO.

Funny how that statement has been repeated so often, that people believe it true.

 

I wonder, if you are right?

Think of the ridiculous high priced BeoVision 7 - how much did the speaker alone cost?

And think of a tv like the 103"ed BV4 or the price of a music system back then/the BS5.

Those could definitely be seen as products for the ultra rich market.

Not that the B&O products come cheap these day (they are not supposed to), but comparing the prices for the tv's/the tv ranges over the years

would rather show that they currently aren't that costy anymore.

A BV Avant 2014 was definitely less expensive than the BV7-55 was (aiming at the same market segment).

A lot of people could afford buying the V1-40, if they wanted to - as they can the BV Horizon now. Centainly not products for 'the ultra rich market'.

Of course the price gap between a regular flat tv and a BeoVision is huge.

But B&O never aimed for the massmarket - never will.

And....we still don't know the price of the coming BV Eclipse!

 

What is it, that you see as 'silly high prices'?

If you think of the price of the BL90 - yes, that is for the ultra rich (although also less rich people have bought them).

But it is certainly not a 'silly high price' - just look at the prices for other highend speakers - it is the price of a speaker of this kind.

Besides there are lots of other speakers in the BL portfolio.

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

seethroughyou
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Millemissen:

Funny how that statement has been repeated so often, that people believe it true.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

That's because it is a mathematical fact and not just a blindly repeated patter. You go back 15-40 years ago before B&O started hiking the prices up, to appeal to the super rich and coating their products in vulgar gold in the mid-2000s, and you could buy a near top of the range Beovision for 2-3 times what Sony etc were demanding. Now, you are paying five figures including a remote, stand, peripherals and installation. £10,000, £12,000, £15,000 for a TV, even the super rich baulk and wince at this absurdity. This is where they have wrong, very wrong and at the rate they are going they will have no TV division left. It is even more depressing how their audiosystem Moment is now in its 650+ posting for problems that seem insolvable. Shameful, absolutely shameful not to mention their new android TVs that are causing no end of distress to new owners and the poor dealers who are stuck in the middle and I bet you all the fancy aluminium in Struer they won't be able to solve these software issues 2 years from now.
Duels
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Duels replied on Tue, Aug 1 2017 7:48 AM
Whilst I agree the TVs are very expensive (for me at least) and the software issues have been horrendous, TVs still represent around 30% of B&Os sales. So there must be a market there. Speakers on the other hand represent 13%. (For completeness,Play is more than 40%)
TWG
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TWG replied on Tue, Aug 1 2017 8:12 AM

The Beovisions where always high-end in terms of specs and craftmanship, the last being Beovision 11 and the first 4K Avant and beautiful, more beautiful than any other TV on the market.

The audiosystems (except the ultra ugly Moment) where timeless pieces of art, too!
But as much as I love e.g. Beosound 3000 and Beocenter 9000 - they wheren't high-end, not technically and their built quality neither. They where great design and multi-room functionality. Companies like Sony can and have build much higher built quality. Devices that are built like a tank and work for decades. Just check out things like an old Sony CDP-XA50 CD-Player... it's build quality is 20 times higher than a Beosound 3000. Or check out some high end brands like Accuphase or T+A etc. and touch and test these devices and you know what exceptional quality feels and sounds like.I don't know if B&O did those things but they should have went shopping, buy a few of those great competitor devices, dismantle them and learn from them, too. This is e.g. very common in the automobile industry. The Beosound 3000 stood out in design terms and that's what we love B&O for! Oh, and the kids love a Beosound 3000 much more than standard hifi components. On the third birthday of my daughter all the kids stood in a crowd in front of my Beosound 3000 and waved their hand in front of it to open the doors at least 60 times more than B&Os quality testing facility in struer does. Big Smile


Let's hope B&O wakes up, fires his top management, invests in and hires more great people like Geoff to get the company back on track.

Learn from Lee and other successful people here on the forum how to run a business the right way.

elephant
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Duels:

Whilst I agree the TVs are very expensive (for me at least) and the software issues have been horrendous, TVs still represent around 30% of B&Os sales. So there must be a market there. Speakers on the other hand represent 13%. (For completeness,Play is more than 40%)

And if this article is a predictor then the 30% may be under threat... or maybe (hopefully) that demographic will be dropping cheap TVs for no TVs leaving only the high ground to be battled for ?

And this article highlights another problem with B&O making television the centrepiece of their strategy

https://www.recode.net/2017/7/30/16035706/tv-sets-american-home-decline

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30132&src=%E2%80%B9%20Consumption%20%20%20%20%20%20Residential%20Energy%20Consumption%20Survey%20(RECS)-f2

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kai
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kai replied on Tue, Aug 1 2017 2:37 PM
Interesting article and maybe some truth to it, but I always like to watch my programmes on a big tv, and by connecting a box it opens up what you can view on the tv, bang and olufsen need to listen to there customers which at this moment does not seem to be happening, producing TVs which still have problems with the software even after the latest update and a new tv produced by lg I believe are going to have an lg logo on it
Andrew
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Andrew replied on Tue, Aug 1 2017 2:55 PM

Just to add my best wishes in as well - I actually think it a great idea. It will be good to have a retailer where there is a choice between handpicked products. I deviated from B&O to a very slight extent by replacing a beolab passive with a Linn power amp - difference is huge and it drives my M100's fantastically - but, I couldn't hear it or compare it anywhere - so a choice would be most welcome - hoping that you stock second life products from Linn, Quad, Naim etc. etc. high end but affordable.

Yendys
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Yendys replied on Tue, Aug 1 2017 3:12 PM
Lee thanks for your 2 posts outlining what you are doing and the reasoning behind it. Makes great business sense and I'm sure you and your team will do very well from the changes.

Shame B&O seem to be sticking their head deeper into the sand [:\'(]
Duels
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Duels replied on Tue, Aug 1 2017 5:21 PM
elephant:

And if this article is a predictor then the 30% may be under threat... or maybe (hopefully) that demographic will be dropping cheap TVs for no TVs leaving only the high ground to be battled for ?

And this article highlights another problem with B&O making television the centrepiece of their strategy

Fair point. But it leaves Loewe in an even worse position as TVs are pretty much all of their business.
moxxey
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moxxey replied on Tue, Aug 1 2017 6:44 PM

Duels:

Fair point. But it leaves Loewe in an even worse position as TVs are pretty much all of their business.

To be fair, the TV market is nothing like it was, simply as people do not need to upgrade so frequently. There were huge panel updates, even in the space of a few months, a few years ago.I remember how much of a difference there was between a BV7-40 MK2 and MK3 and then the MKIV was a big step up again etc etc. Those days have gone. Not many people really *need* 4K. I can watch a Blu-ray movie and still wowed by the video/audio experience. I can watch football in HD and I don't sit there thinking "this would be so much better in 4K".

Sure, OLED is a jump up from LCD, but for most people, their current TV is superb. My BV12-65 still looks fantastic and it's years old now. I'm in less of a rush to 'upgrade' than I've been in the past. OLED is still a luxury purchase, even for Samsung TV purchasers.

 

folkdeejay
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9 LEE:

AdamS:

As to Loewe, I always viewed them as purveyors of cut-price B&O copies. Looks like I might have had things the wrong way round! Wink

I can't see that happening.

What B&O do is pure craftsmanship when it comes to construction of their products.  Ultra-premium everything.  This costs a lot of money - not to buy, but to produce.  The intricate details B&O pursue to make their products so special are incredible. Not as if their marketing departments say anything.. it's some kind of secret, I assume.

I don't think Loewe are even interested in this. They're looking for the middle ground, where it's better made and much nicer looking than mass-market - at a price most people can afford.  Back to my BMW 7-Series vs Rolls Royce Phantom analogy.

I think there's a gaping hole in the market for somewhere between Ultra-Premium and Mass-Market - but that's just my opinion.

Lee

 

 

Hi Lee,

An interesting read. 

As you will (hopefully!) recall, in my real life guise as David from King Street (2000 onwards) I was around with B&O in various roles from the early 90's until 2010.  

The decision not to go with your approved pre-owned scheme was an error, imo.

B&O HQ has always been an odd mix of excellent and very insular - do you recall the Beoworld event at King Street (one of the earliest prize draws was done 'live' on the night)...   This was the cause of endless 'discussion' afterwards.  As was the fact we didn't hide our association with you ( and A.N. Other reseller !!) when considering the second hand market.   The jaded comparison to car dealers is valid - they pragmatically embrace the used market.  B&O UK simply never did.

I also fully agree with your description of the quality of design/build behind the products - even the cheaper ones.  Astonishing and yet oddly underplayed in the PR that I see (what little of it there is to see).   

I can fully understand your decision - and I agree with your analysis of B&O as a UK distribution company - and your admiration of Steve Dev, one of the all-time good guys as far as I am concerned.  That said, my old stomping ground at King Street seems to be doing well and I notice they just had a major refit ( Ian is a genuinely nice person and will go the extra mile for every customer, so I'm not surprised).

I don't read these pages as much as I used to - sometimes skimming through without logging in, for old times sake really - and I only logged in today to get an idea about fixing a 'farty' Beolab 6000, but having read your initial post, maybe a decent S/H pair is the answer, rather than an £80 drive unit.

I hope the change works out for you.  

All the best, DJ. 

 

 

Rob
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Rob replied on Wed, Aug 2 2017 5:37 AM
Managing first hand sales, together with high (2nd hand) residual values, supported by an attractive financial model, has always been key to sustainable product lifecycle management (premium brand management).

For expensive or premium products, this has become increasingly difficult. Digitalization and new business models are influencing product lifecycle management and this trend will intensify. After reading Lee's post, I am not sure to what extent B&O's business model supports the notion of supporting strong residual values. I can only hypothesize that their residual values will drastically worsen if they don't manage their "digital products" - case in point BS5.

If they don't get their act together, android and iOS could burn millions.

Despite all this, I recently (July 2017) bought an Avant NG*. Why and what happened?

- My dealer offered me a good trade in value for my old BV5.

- My new TV was installed and the old one was carried away.

- At the same time an old beogram and BL4000 was carted off for repair.

- The wiring was ordered from Steve.

With the above value chain 4 businesses were trying to get a deal from me. There is a 5th business looming - the android chaps are in it too now. They however, do nearly all the above "over the air".

All these businesses are fighting for margin. None are under one roof, they however all have one brand in common. One does not need to be a Rocket scientist to understand the implications.

Lee, give it hell.

Rob

* no software issues to date. It is however the first B&O product that I felt was built by their accountant, may their lawyer strike a good deal with Netflix :-)...

Guy
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Guy replied on Wed, Aug 2 2017 4:28 PM

It's not just a UK problem - this Budapest store has started selling coffee to make ends meet! Smile

(I was there at the weekend for the F1, not the shopping)

 

Millemissen
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'My' store offers me free coffee ;-)))

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

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All the best of luck to Lee and the team at lifestyle, I am sure you make a success of this new venture as you offer excellent service and are deffintly my preferred go to when I have needed any new equipment!

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Fri, Aug 4 2017 11:39 AM

Thank you for your kind words.

Our next challenge is making people aware of the brand, then aware of how good it is.  I watched Netflix being streamed to a Bild 7 OLED this week, and I have to say.. it was incredible.  I went home to my Avant 75 and all of a sudden wasn't as impressed as I used to be.

I'm so looking forward to seeing the Eclipse.  If Loewe can get that kind of image out of an OLED, I assume B&O's offering will make me weak at the knees!  I hope so, for the companies sake - and all the dealers who are depending on it.

Lee

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Tucker replied on Fri, Aug 4 2017 5:57 PM

Being in the US I have never heard of Loewe, but after looking into it I would be very interested if they were to start bringing their products over here.  I am a big fan of B&O, but my budget only allows me to have pre-owned at this time, aside from some Beoplay items.  I would welcome something with great style and quality that was at a little better price point.    

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TEL replied on Sat, Aug 5 2017 11:11 PM

As others have already said...

I'd like to offer Lee and the rest of the team 'All the best' for the future and thank them for their support and advice over the years. Not forgetting my prize draw success's.

TEL

 

 

 

 

9 LEE
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Many thanks for all the good wishes, it means a lot. I've had some lovely emails and messages wishing me all the best, which really made me smile.

I've got some lovely bits of B&O coming in this week, plus our Loewe demo stock has partially arrived. The rest in a day or two, then we can start getting to grips with it!

In the meantime, to create some 'brand awareness' locally, I've had my car sign written. It's also in front of our new premises..


9 LEE
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... and just to show we still "Love the Beo" - here's our new Demo Area Smile

Flooring by Amtico (Signature Range), and lighting by Philips Hue. Yes - thumbs up


Duels
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Duels replied on Tue, Aug 8 2017 6:31 PM
9 LEE:

... and just to show we still " Love the Beo " - here's our new Demo Area

Flooring by Amtico (Signature Range), and lighting by Philips Hue.

That looks awesome Lee!
Tucker
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Tucker replied on Tue, Aug 8 2017 6:37 PM

9 LEE:

In the meantime, to create some 'brand awareness' locally, I've had my car sign written. It's also in front of our new premises..

A BMW M Sport Gran Coupe is a mighty fine canvas for advertising!  I love it!  I bet it has a nice sound system too....

 

Beosound 9000 MK III, Beosound Century, Beogram 5005, Beolab 8000, Beolab 5000,  Beolab 4000, Beolab 5, Beovision 8, Beovision 10, Beovision 5, Beoplay A2, Beoplay E8, Beoplay H6.

elephant
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Duels:

LEE:

... and just to show we still " Love the Beo " - here's our new Demo Area

Flooring by Amtico (Signature Range), and lighting by Philips Hue.

That looks awesome Lee!

I agree - a great stage for B&O

BeoNut since '75

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davidr replied on Tue, Aug 8 2017 11:05 PM

Tucker:

Being in the US I have never heard of Loewe, but after looking into it I would be very interested if they were to start bringing their products over here.

Same from up north, never heard of them before the buzz around their Bild7 online. Would love the option to import one.

Gavin Sykes - STBbrackets
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Dave from King Street !!! - Hope all is well in your world, and best wishes from Herbie Sykes

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TWG replied on Fri, Aug 11 2017 1:55 PM

9 LEE:

... and just to show we still "Love the Beo" - here's our new Demo Area Smile

Flooring by Amtico (Signature Range), and lighting by Philips Hue. Yes - thumbs up

 

Lee, that looks super nice... although the red lightning could be... misunderstood. Stick out tongue

 

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Fri, Aug 11 2017 4:12 PM

It's a Philips Hue preset called "Savannah Sunset"

It's actually oranges and yellows - but yes, on the image it looks more like an "Amsterdam Midnight" 

I'll have a mess about with the 'themes' Big Smile

Lee

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Hello Mr S!

 

All is well thanks.  Enjoying the A1(M) on a weekly basis.  CoolCool

 

Hope the Sykes empire is still booming, in its various forms.

 

DJ.

 

elephant
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elephant replied on Sun, Aug 13 2017 12:27 AM
9 LEE:

It's a Philips Hue preset called "Savannah Sunset"

It's actually oranges and yellows - but yes, on the image it looks more like an "Amsterdam Midnight"

I'll have a mess about with the 'themes'

Lee

Often use that Hue when we watch shows where we want to enhance the mood ... and don't get excited Smile because it's shows like Game of Thrones 🐉

Recently used Arctic ❄️ Hue to watch Frozen ☃️ with the grandkids Big Smile

BeoNut since '75

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355f replied on Sun, Aug 13 2017 5:41 PM

9 LEE:

Thank you for your kind words.

Our next challenge is making people aware of the brand, then aware of how good it is.  I watched Netflix being streamed to a Bild 7 OLED this week, and I have to say.. it was incredible.  I went home to my Avant 75 and all of a sudden wasn't as impressed as I used to be.

I'm so looking forward to seeing the Eclipse.  If Loewe can get that kind of image out of an OLED, I assume B&O's offering will make me weak at the knees!  I hope so, for the companies sake - and all the dealers who are depending on it.

Lee

 

I wish you the very best with Loewe and for the future.

What a great pity that the opportunity presented to Mr Tui Mantoni bought about the effective demise of B&O. No doubt he has gone to make a 'success' of some new venture.

 

Of course we all wear rose tinted spectacle in respect of the B&O brand, I would hasten to suggest that if one went into any store selling OLED and QLED ( which promises great things) one would never have been impressed with the new avant- even when it first came out.

 

So with Loewe we have a brand without the 7X tax but probably a 4X tax.  One can only try and see if the average purchaser is  prepared to pay this premium when mainstream rivals do it better, with products changing and improving every 6 months

 

Simonbeo
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Simonbeo replied on Sun, Aug 13 2017 6:45 PM

Visiting the Design Museum in Kensington yesterday I looked across the road to see that their http://www.loewe-uk.com/uk/gallery/uk-gallerys/kensington.html flagship store has closed. Obviously everybody is finding things tough and that location was well sited for design conscious shoppers to see after a visit to the new museum. 

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Puncher
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Puncher replied on Sun, Aug 13 2017 6:55 PM

Maybe the UK "flagship" store will soon be in Eastbourne!

Hopefully so!!

Ban boring signatures!

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