Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Full size headphone store
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Full size headphone store - Page 2

Poll Results: Dedicated Headphone store?

 
  • 52% (9)
    Yes
  • 47% (8)
    No
17 Total Votes  
post #16 of 20

I've actually put serious consideration into this idea before (also in Houston, weird), but I'm just not in a position financially to take the leap right now.  My thought was that it could be a viable idea, but it would live or die on adding some value to the headphone experience above and beyond simply being a place in which headphones could be purchased.  If you run it as just a shop with headphones in it, you're competing head on with the internet on price and that's suicide.  

 

You would need several things to draw people in and keep them engaged with your store as an extension of their interest in audio.  A good website with some forums that you could try to develop into an active community would be good.  In store events like little classes/seminars on various aspects of audio or the advantages of headphones over speakers would be a good way to draw attention (a store in which something is obviously going on is more likely to draw curious passers by than one in which nothing is happening), convince people of the need for your product, and earn a little good will if you can really make it seem genuine as opposed to yet another bit of marketing.

 

The big uphill battle will be convincing the larger public to think of headphones as a lifestyle purchase, rather than as a appliance where you buy one and use it until it breaks.  Fortunately celebrity endorsed headphones have already started doing this for you.  Something like the Apple or Sony Style stores are likely to work best.  The average person is likely to just walk right by what looks like another store for tech geeks.

 

Out of curiosity, which mall were you thinking about?  The Galleria?  River Oaks? Maybe Baybrook?

 

Anyway, those were just the thoughts I had when trying to put an idea together.  Best of luck to you if you actually decide to move forward with this.

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jslevine

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

 

Yes and no. If the OP could match Amazon's pricing or come close to it while arguing that there would be no to- or from- shipping fees, then maybe he could compete.

 

One from-the-hip idea would be to have a web browser in the store showing online prices and how the OP would compete with them.

 

The OP could also argue that you can actually try on these headphones in the store and listen to them. You can't do that with most models as most big box stores.

 

The OP couldn't even think about opening such a store in a suburban or lower-class area as most customers would likely be closed- and narrow-minded. They just balk at the price and then go buy Bose headphones at BB.

 

The OP's headphone store would have to have the following characteristics:

  • a location in an area trafficked by open-minded high-end and niche customers as is B&H in NYC
  • a location near an airport could be convenient for headphone addict layover flyers who could't find such a store in or near their home cities
  • a more general presentation of personal audio including PMP's, portable amps, desktop amps and computer soundcards
  • nearly any and every product auditionable in nearly every way- take it out of the box, handle it, listen to it, etc.
  • product not found at the big box stores- don't think of selling pretty much anything sold at a big box store

 

The OP or whomever deals with customers would have to be very tolerant of irritating customers who have no intention of buying and just want to be argumentative... e.g. "why should I pay $300 for headhones when I can get some for $15." Anyone who's worked in a mid or high-end recreational retail store knows these customers are a daily occurence.

 

The store operator would more generally have to be tolerant of customers, period. Even this is saying a lot.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by suburbanite View Post

 

Yes and no. If the OP could match Amazon's pricing or come close to it while arguing that there would be no to- or from- shipping fees, then maybe he could compete.

 

One from-the-hip idea would be to have a web browser in the store showing online prices and how the OP would compete with them.

 

The OP could also argue that you can actually try on these headphones in the store and listen to them. You can't do that with most models as most big box stores.

 

The OP couldn't even think about opening such a store in a suburban or lower-class area as most customers would likely be closed- and narrow-minded. They just balk at the price and then go buy Bose headphones at BB.

 

The OP's headphone store would have to have the following characteristics:

  • a location in an area trafficked by open-minded high-end and niche customers as is B&H in NYC
  • a location near an airport could be convenient for headphone addict layover flyers who could't find such a store in or near their home cities
  • a more general presentation of personal audio including PMP's, portable amps, desktop amps and computer soundcards
  • nearly any and every product auditionable in nearly every way- take it out of the box, handle it, listen to it, etc.
  • product not found at the big box stores- don't think of selling pretty much anything sold at a big box store

 

The OP or whomever deals with customers would have to be very tolerant of irritating customers who have no intention of buying and just want to be argumentative... e.g. "why should I pay $300 for headhones when I can get some for $15." Anyone who's worked in a mid or high-end recreational retail store knows these customers are a daily occurence.

 

The store operator would more generally have to be tolerant of customers, period. Even this is saying a lot.

 

The days of brick & mortar competing with online pricing are long-since gone.  Even Big Box stores, which are impossible to compete with, can't compete with online pricing.  Brick & mortar has to attract customers based on incentive rather than price.  The point of becoming a mega-corp retailer is to buy in bulk to throw your weight around, get discount pricing, and make the small shops eat the costs.  What any small brick & mortar must provide is VALUE, even if they don't have price.  Your store would offer a few things online can't: try before you buy, no hassle returns, expert advice.  What you'd have to do is convince possible customers why that matters.   You would also have to incentivize the purchase with some other service that you get only buying from you.  Otherwise, everyone will try in your store and then go buy online.  You need to provide something that adds value to buying from you over buying cheaper.  Maybe it's partnering with a credit bank and offering financing on higher end stuff, maybe its repairs & discounts, upgrade/trade-up programs, something like that to inspire the inigial, and continued purchases. Referbished or up-traded models could then be sold at a discount to keep customers checking back.  Plus audio seminars, listening expos, whatever. You can't do that at Best Buy.

 

Again, look at some of the choice headphone dealers that are sponsors here.  They're all charging MSRP.  We all know many headphones can be purchased from gray-market dealers cheaper.  But we trust these guys, we know they provide help and service to us, and if anything goes wrong, they'll handle the problem without trouble.  So we pay a little more for velvet glove service.

post #19 of 20

How are the prices? I line in Iowa and would love to check that place out!

post #20 of 20
Brick and mortar can't compete with online shoppers.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Full size headphone store