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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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Mark-N
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Mark-N replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 5:16 PM

It seems that B&O is changing its strategy in the US.  The manager of the Tysons Corner store believed that they were one of the top performing stores, if not the top.  So it doesn't look like these closings stem from a lack of sales,

It may be that B&O is going to an independant route.  Torsten (the manager) said that he was considering opening an independant non-showroom "store".  I guess that is good if you know what you want beforehand.  I hope he does because he has been good to me and I would definately buy from him again.

This is all speculation, I have no idea what is going on!

 

Earle
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Earle replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 5:38 PM

Whatever the reason, it's a shame that the number of showrooms are dwindling. Although, I must admit, while I was a customer, I wasn't necessarily the best customer (in terms of actual sales). One day, I ran into the store's manager in a coffee shop, and he told me that every store had that one customer who would always be at the showroom, but it would take months (maybe years) before they even bought anything... and for the SF store, that customer was me! Give me a break though, I was just a kid still in college, to be fair.

Anyway, the reduction of showrooms will be tough, especially when the products pretty much require a showroom. Anyone else remember Cambridge Soundworks? What they're reduced to selling on their online presence is kind of sad. While I'm sure we here in the community will already be familiar of the B&O quality for any future products, it might be hard to sell B&O to new customers if a showroom for demonstrations will be hard to come by.

benoit
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benoit replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 5:40 PM

In Strasbourg the shop closed few weeks ago without telling anything to the clients (I used to receive adds from them...). The shop has been totally emptied in 1 weekend. Nothing written at the door and no answer to the phone. BO confirmed that the shop is definitively closed... Fortunately they are still good shops in Germany less then 100km away.

Mark-N
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Mark-N replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 6:18 PM

I wonder how much of the price of a "Bang & Olufsen" product is to maintain the store and the employee salaries.  I think B&O Play is priced better to sell, but to spend over $4700 for a pair of BeoLab 17's can be a little daunting!  It would be nice if they could figure a good way to get the price down a little.  I just don't know if the volume of sales in a typical Bang & Olufsen store is high enough.

benoit
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benoit replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 6:25 PM

I think you are right! But we have to keep in mind that in some shops potentials clients are not always very warmly welcomed and some shops look a bit outdated and are not very appealing... I think the whole concept has to be rethought...

linder
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linder replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 7:06 PM

Does this mean the only store in the Bay area is the store in Palo Alto?

Duels
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Duels replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 8:46 PM

Mark-N:

I wonder how much of the price of a "Bang & Olufsen" product is to maintain the store and the employee salaries.

In common with most retail environments I would suggest at least half.

Earle
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Earle replied on Wed, Feb 17 2016 8:53 PM

linder:

Does this mean the only store in the Bay area is the store in Palo Alto?

Yup, Palo Alto is it (when SF locks the doors)... at least Zuckerberg and friends will have their outlet.

Is there a 'rolling eyes' emoji? No? Oh well, I'm rolling my eyes, guys!

Aussie Michael
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Wasn't there all this hoo-ha about a year ago that B&O appointed Kathy something or other to head up the US or the marketing (from memory). 

Seems like that went well...

vikinger
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vikinger replied on Thu, Feb 18 2016 11:24 AM

Aussie Michael:

Wasn't there all this hoo-ha about a year ago that B&O appointed Kathy something or other to head up the US or the marketing (from memory). 

Seems like that went well...

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bang--olufsen-america-inc-announces-kathy-thornton-bias-as-new-president-250113231.html

"With Kathy Thorton-Bias joining the Bang & Olufsen America team, we are confident that we can take the next important steps in the American market - which has experienced a healthy development during the past few years," states Tue Mantoni, Bang & Olufsen CEO.  

"Healthy development" = closed stores?

Graham

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StUrrock replied on Thu, Feb 18 2016 10:05 PM

Duels:

Mark-N:

I wonder how much of the price of a "Bang & Olufsen" product is to maintain the store and the employee salaries.

 

In common with most retail environments I would suggest at least half.

 

In an independent store the profit margin is no where near half!

linder
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linder replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 3:05 PM

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.

Sal
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Sal replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 3:30 PM

Disclaimer: I don't have an MBA, and hated economics, and have no insights into B&O's interior workings. I think there's there is one thing we're not considering. What if B&O are preparing a move to another business model here in the US? It would be a marathon and not a sprint, and closing all the shops at once just wouldn't make sense. Maybe a handful will remain open. But the rest of B&O's business will be handled by "pro-partners" (I've heard this term bantered about here and there) or even enter the hi-end audio retailer world alongside other brands. It would be a terrible business decision for B&O to alienate US customers, I just don't believe they're leaving... I just don't want to believe it.

linder
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linder replied on Fri, Feb 19 2016 4:16 PM

Sal:

Disclaimer: I don't have an MBA, and hated economics, and have no insights into B&O's interior workings. I think there's there is one thing we're not considering. What if B&O are preparing a move to another business model here in the US? It would be a marathon and not a sprint, and closing all the shops at once just wouldn't make sense. Maybe a handful will remain open. But the rest of B&O's business will be handled by "pro-partners" (I've heard this term bantered about here and there) or even enter the hi-end audio retailer world alongside other brands. It would be a terrible business decision for B&O to alienate US customers, I just don't believe they're leaving... I just don't want to believe it.

Sal,  I don't mean to be a contrarian but B&O better do something fast because there are people like me who just might get cured of the B&O virus due to withdrawal of B&O products.  Also I am old enough to remember when B&O products were sold through audiophile dealers.  They always tried to sell a customer another product.  I have had that experience and also suffered bad and dishonest repair service.  If they are going to use a pro partner, it will be worse.  There are several pro partners near where I live and I have talked to several.  My wife actually wants to use a pro partner to install a home audio video system.  The reason she wants to use a pro partner is she wants everything hidden and completely inbuilt....no floor standing speakers and a hidden 70 inch TV which means no B&O.  I am resisting.

 

 

 

 

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