Sign in   |  Join   |  Help

Another store closed: B&O Seattle

rated by 0 users
Not Answered This post has 0 verified answers | 8 Replies | 0 Followers

laseralex
Top 500 Contributor
237 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member
laseralex posted on Thu, Apr 5 2018 11:35 AM

I am sad to report the closure of another B&O store, Bang & Olufsen South Lake Union.

South Lake Union is a Seattle neighborhood most famous as the home of Amazon.  The growth of Amazon has created an incredible financial boom in Seattle in recent years.  Incomes (and housing prices) have risen astronomically, as Amazon has brought in tens of thousands of tech workers and built many new high-rise buildings.

Ryan at B&O South Lake Union previously ran the Portland, Oregon B&O store for 5 years before moving to Seattle to take over ownership of the South Lake Union Store.  He was always very helpful, very friendly, and very knowledgeable.  My income is very middle-class so the majority of my B&O gear was purchased used from third parties, but Ryan was just and polite and helpful whether I was buying a single Powerlink cable or a couple of Essence systems with remotes.

Seattle retail rents are ridiculously high, and I'm sure that made it very difficult to run a profitable business.  However, if B&O can't make a profitable retail business in the second-fastest growing city in the USA, I wonder what changes need to be made to keep B&O relevant.  To be honest, I wonder if high-end audio systems are simply a relic of a past age.  I really hope not.

If you happen to read this, Ryan: thank you so much for the fantastic service you always provided.  I'm very sorry to see you go.

 

Sources: 2x Beosound Moment • 4x Beosound Essence Mk II
Speakers: 3x Beolab 8000 • 2x Beolab 6000 • 2x Beolab 3 • 3x Beolab 2
Integrated:  1x Beosound 2 • 1x Beosound Level • 4x BeoPlay M5 • 1x BeoPlay A6
Control:  16x* Essence Remote  • 1x Beoremote Halo

* Yes, really! 🤦‍♂️

All Replies

Barry Santini
Top 150 Contributor
New York
543 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member
Pro partner stores are the future
laseralex
Top 500 Contributor
237 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member

Barry Santini:
Pro partner stores are the future

I'm not familiar with that term, and Google isn't helping.  Can you explain what a "Pro partner store" is, and why it's the future?

Sources: 2x Beosound Moment • 4x Beosound Essence Mk II
Speakers: 3x Beolab 8000 • 2x Beolab 6000 • 2x Beolab 3 • 3x Beolab 2
Integrated:  1x Beosound 2 • 1x Beosound Level • 4x BeoPlay M5 • 1x BeoPlay A6
Control:  16x* Essence Remote  • 1x Beoremote Halo

* Yes, really! 🤦‍♂️

poodleboy
Top 500 Contributor
303 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member

It is a very posh way of saying "we are leaving this market but hope nobody will notice". 

Razlaw
Top 25 Contributor
4,300 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member
laseralex:

I'm not familiar with that term, and Google isn't helping. Can you explain what a "Pro partner store" is, and why it's the future?

https://www.google.com/mymaps/viewer?mid=1by7PL_xcYkzN_HW3lOGWru3bluw&hl=en_US

From the Beointegration page.

Beolab 28s Beolab 9s Beolab 12-3s Beolab 1s Beolab 6000s 2 pairs Beolab 4000s Beovision 7-55 Beovision 10-40 Beoplay V1 32 inch Beovision Avant 32 inch Beosound 1 (CD player) Beosound 3000 Beosound 5 Core Essence MKII Beoplay M5

trackbeo
Top 150 Contributor
639 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member

Otherwise known as "custom integrators".

Based on that map and the few I have dealt with, it's the kind of place that doesn't run a store, has one showroom but won't do walk-ins nor talk to you without an appointment -- remember, they have to "qualify" you first -- and doesn't keep product in stock because they have a just-in-time distributor. The only saving grace of an integrator is that you are guaranteed they will do the in-home installation of your product! Also usually they are interested enough in the technology that they will get it right.   (But their business model is shifting too, with "RMR" (Recurring Monthly Revenue) being their way forward to increased profits. Cloud fees, service contracts, etc. "That ain't workin', that's the way you do it; Money for nothin', and chicks for free...")

The last integrator I worked with really were dedicated professionals, but they had to do their demo in a previous customer's home! They could afford to build out a showroom, but their product lines were so diverse and specialized, they couldn't demo nearly as well as their installation.   Plus there was a whole crew of them, including separate job manager, system designer, front-line sales contact, plus the techs who do labor and the support staff and the president.   Paying for all that overhead doesn't help the upper-middle-class B&O target consumer.  The high prices and list price maintenance of B&O dealerships were built to help pay for the high store overhead.  But adding an integrator's fees to that?  Some integrators will do $10,000-$20,000 projects, but many have an **average** project cost in the 6 figures! (See "qualify" above...)

As an enthusiast, I would rather give my money to a retail store, even if I'm relying on my own knowledge and the salesman is just some fellow who couldn't succeed at the local Porsche dealership last week. The ability to see & touch is so important to the B&O designed products, in many cases more important than the sound or picture. If you cannot appreciate either one in the flesh, what's the point?  /rant

Jeff
Top 25 Contributor
USA
3,793 Posts
OFFLINE
Silver Member
Jeff replied on Thu, Apr 5 2018 9:08 PM

poodleboy:

It is a very posh way of saying "we are leaving this market but hope nobody will notice". 

Yes, I am driving a white van, but honest, I'm authorized to sell B&O out of the back of it.Trust me. Erm..

Jeff

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

jk1002
Top 500 Contributor
278 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member

This is sad news, I bought some products there as well.

I wouldn't knock the pro partner concept but it doesn't look like there is commitment from B&O to this market neither do I think it makes much sense.

Giving the state of streaming and lack of high end options among leaders spotify and apple music it might not be the right time to reposition.

 

aryak
Not Ranked
6 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member
aryak replied on Tue, May 8 2018 9:35 AM

I worked for the store as an assistant manager, and I really miss those days at B&O especially working with Tim & Ryan. 

You mentioned some good points. Tim & Ryan closed the store due to multiple reasons, the main one being the sky rocketing Seattle rents. South Lake Union and particularly that block where the store was locatd, is definitely not a good place for retail businesses like B&O. The local access to the store was hard, parking was a pain, traffic and etc. discouraged many current/prospective clients from visiting the store. Being previously owned by Bang & Olufsen Retail LLC, (BOA), I think they could've done a better job in choosing a right location for a retail store. Examples are UVillage, Bellevue Square or nearly all high-end locations on east side. 

Ryan worked for Bang & Olufsen for the past 12 years. With no doubt, Ryan was the most genuine, honest, caring and hardworking manager/owner/sales person B&O had in the Pacific North West, if not the US! He was a true brand enthusiast and loved every single product. He is one of only a few people who know a lot about older products, so he was always there to help clients with vintage sets. There was not a single technical case/question he couldn't answer. He deeply cared about every single customer and wanted to see them satisfied leaving the store regardless if they made a purchase at all. He spent hours on phone helping clients troubleshooting, walking through steps, visiting their houses to assist and much more and again regardless of the range of product. Even as we closed and still now, he is personally in touch with the clients he had, making sure he will leave the supported even after the business officially closed and to make sure they will be taken care of by other B&O specialists. As the time passed, I saw him being more and more stressed and heartbroken by the support he got from corporate. I don't want to get much into details as I am not expert or fully aware to comment, but just to point out another major reason of closure, a major concern about the BOA's retail system support going downhill, day by day.

I truly miss working for Bang & Olufsen and the South Lake Union store and I hope the best of the luck for BOA and Ryan!

Also I will make sure I get the message to Ryan. 

Page 1 of 1 (9 items) | RSS
Beoworld Security Certificate

SSL