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Full size headphone store

Poll Results: Dedicated Headphone store?

 
  • 52% (9)
    Yes
  • 47% (8)
    No
17 Total Votes  
post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I am thinking of opening up a headphone shop either at the mall or a strip mall.  The popularity of headphones i am wondering why there are not stores dedicated to them.  I have to order all mine through a online store.  So my queston is would you shop at a store that is dedicated to cans and what would you look for?  I have been planning for a couple of weeks and have not had one manufacture contact me even after a number of messages left.  The future looks really bright for this market.  I would like to offer three to five models of each major brand and a few low budget cans.  I am trying to keep inventory to minimum.  thanks for your help.               

post #2 of 20

Can you compete with the online prices? The 2 HiFi stores I used to frequent no longer exist because of that problem.

post #3 of 20
Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Why do you think there aren't any headphone only physical stores? Because financially it makes _much_ more sense to also sell everything related to hifi/audio. It's like asking why aren't there any tv-only stores.
post #4 of 20

The real problem is selling everyone else on making this work.  As you stated, the manufactures haven't responded, they will only wholesale to a store with a viable business plan.  Same goes for the banks you would need to get financing from and the mall you want to rent space from.  That said, with enough business knowledge & passion, you may get it to work.  It's a risk.

post #5 of 20

Yup, better try to do an online store that would have the best prices on popular phones as well as the best selection of amp/accessory. My bet is you would make money on those accessories and not on the phones!
 

post #6 of 20

Hmm.  All negative replies.  I can understand.

 

However, I would love a heaphone shop.  I moved from Houston five years ago but still live about a hundred miles west.  

 

It wouldn't have to be a lot of square feet.  

 

In addition to headphones, I would look for dac/amps, portable and non-portable, maybe headbands, cables, you know, all the stuff we like to accessorize with.  Maybe that Portland store could be some sort of model.

 

I wish you the best.  Are you a member of the Houston Audio Society?  I am, but I haven't heard much talk about headphones there.  It's generally an older bunch.  Given that, most old folks have hearing loss and headphones are a natural progression, I feel.  Not to mention that all the youngsters, 16 to whatever, are a huge market for HP's and upgrading.  But, you obviously know this.

 

I wish you the best.

post #7 of 20

Why limit yourself to just headphones? You could sell IEMs and high-end speakers as well, maybe offer services for custom IEM tips and headphone modding, sell related and miscellaneous electronics, DJing equipment, custom orders for things online, etc.

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post

Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Why do you think there aren't any headphone only physical stores? Because financially it makes _much_ more sense to also sell everything related to hifi/audio. It's like asking why aren't there any tv-only stores.

 

There's a lot of truth to that, why open a headphone store when you can open a hi-fi store?  On the other hand, boutique is in right now, and in the right location you can do well.  Look at the high-end boutique stores selling just skin moisturizer, etc.  Look at the Apple store.  While they sell only computers and iToy products and some select accessories, it's still a sparse single brand floor plan.  The old adage of location, location, location applies.  Set up a headphone store, make it somewhat "hip" and "exclusive" in appearance, nice demo stations, locate it near an Apple store or something, and it could sell. 

 

Designer headphones, amps, and DACs, some i*device accessories (Wadia docks etc)....you could set up a small mall boutique that way.   But, then, be sure location allows for people willing to dump exotic money on exotic items, otherwise you'll appeal only to the Best Buy level folks.

post #9 of 20

No doubt it would be interesting store and perhaps someone could make a standard living with it if the location is right. Also online sales would be mandatory. If you want to make money, you really need to be owner of something like "Electrics-Expo" though..

 

I wish good luck but the OPs "couple weeks of planning" sound like most people from Shark Tank/Dragon's Den (tv-shows) that are hopelessly destined to fail.. wink.gif

post #10 of 20
Hope you've got deep pockets, you'll need them! What do you stock, how many, which brands, rent, rates, suppliers, accountants, staff & paperwork.

You're trying to cater for a very narrow market in which a large percentage of the population are happy to walk around wearing white iBuds mad.gif

Sorry to say, the last six pairs of headphones I purchased were all online!

Nice idea but I don't reckon there's a sufficiently large market to make it work (not purely with headphones), regardless of location - However I wish you luck!
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by maporter View Post

Hope you've got deep pockets, you'll need them! What do you stock, how many, which brands, rent, rates, suppliers, accountants, staff & paperwork.
You're trying to cater for a very narrow market in which a large percentage of the population are happy to walk around wearing white iBuds mad.gif
Sorry to say, the last six pairs of headphones I purchased were all online!
Nice idea but I don't reckon there's a sufficiently large market to make it work (not purely with headphones), regardless of location - However I wish you luck!

 

I imagine a LOT of cross-traffic could be generated setting up next door to or adjacent from an Apple Store or Sony Style Store in a mall.   Set up with some big iPod related items, and half the Apple customers may come through to see what you have and get hooked on your demo equipment.  But you would have to gear the store to cater to what those customers would want.  And you'd also have to be prepared for an utterly absurd amount of rent so you'd need a lot of trinkety accessories out front to move some high-margin volume.   A Kiosk cart would be an option too. 

 

But do realize your primary audience would be budget-mass market stuff.  The "back room" high end you'd be lucky to move 5 a month.  The real revenue would come from the mass market. 

 

Other than that, you'd be much better off considering a real hi-fi shop.  Even the online headphone dealers, short of HeadRoom are also about full size speakers and home theater.  You could carry all the headphones you would have as a headphone store, plus the full range of rack gear, speakers, projectors, installation services, etc.   If you can't find funding for a Hi-Fi shop, you can't find funding for a headphone shop either.  The rent will be the killer either way, even over inventory.  If you can find funding for a hi-fi shop it'll be a much more interesting and stable business, and if you love audio, you love audio, so there should be no personal bias against full size hi-fi, and you'd have a blast selling it.

 

The niche headphone store could work, but it's a huge gamble, and you really have to know your market and how to capture it.  I can't say it definitely wouldn't work in the right situation.  But full hi-fi is wiser, and no doubt more satisfying to run in the long-run as well.

post #12 of 20

Would be pretty tough to compete with the Amazon empire....

post #13 of 20
I assume there's actually a small market for such shops, but you should be online as well. Examples in defense of this are AC Gears and Jaben. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of their profits came from the 'net either. Basically, in a large enough city and with proper management and business planning and so on, I think it *could* work, but as a lot of people have been telling you: it's a lot of work to pull it together and turn a profit. redface.gif

Oh and I agree with the "full hi-fi shop" example as well - there's not a single headphone only shop in my area, but there's probably a dozen different boutique hi-fi dealers that do custom installation and integration as well as audiophile gear (including headphones). I think that should say something too.
Edited by obobskivich - 5/17/12 at 3:11pm
post #14 of 20

Would be hard to make sales... People would rather go to best buy and more then likely you would want to stock consumer friendly low fi headphones. Like beats even if you don't recommend them, you will sell more of them then any other headphone. I voted yes, because that idea sounds great, but with big stores it would be hard to stay afloat.

post #15 of 20

Here in Des Moines, IA we have a dedicated headphone only shop in the mall called Peachbudz.

 

http://www.peachbudz.com/

 

That is the exact place I recently discovered (new to the area) and where I have made my two headphone purchases thus far.

 

I bought a set of Skullcandy Supreme Sound Aviators, and a set of Grado SR80is within just about a week. That is also when I discovered this website and joined up. Now I have my eyes set on some Sennheiser HD650s. LOL!

 

I think it will be a really successful business venture, and it certainly is a great idea. But I am a bit of an audio junkie though...

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