Avidworx Pushes 12-Volt Store Overhaul

By Amy Gilroy On Nov 20 2006 - 8:00am

Avidworx has created a "store in a box" retail plan for up-scaling, and "professionalizing" 12-volt specialty stores and claimed it will increase a retailer's business by 20 percent, or it will refund the cost.

The display company said that just as Starbucks positioned itself as the upscale place for coffee, Avidworx can position a store as the go-to place for a high-tech car entertainment overhaul.

Avidworx will introduce at International CES in January a shop makeover kit that includes new displays and a front counter as part of a four-part plan, derived from working with nearly 100 retailers, according to Avidworx sales VP Mark Greenberg. He claimed that Avidworx has helped these retailers increase their business by 20 percent in either one category or the entire store.

Part one of the plan is to "set the mood and create the brand." Here the retailer takes down all supplier banners because the store is going to be the main brand sold. This phase also involves "throwing out the crap from the 80s and the pictures of the install from 10 years ago" as well as the "sign that says you charge $50 if your check bounces," Greenberg says.

Chapter two is to "put the store to work." It includes setting up Avidworx interactive displays. Unlike most displays, these do not house 100 products because that is confusing to the customer. Instead, one display shows what a new head unit, amplifier, speakers and subwoofer can do. Then the retailer, the "expert," decides which products the customer needs for his car.

"We believe we have to start narrowing the product focus, because the product is you. And once the customer decides to buy, then he needs to listen to your recommendation for which products to get," says Greenberg. "There are always people who want to shop at Best Buy, but there are others that don't have the time and want to deal with an expert."

Also during this phase, the retailer cleans up the installation bay so the customer can "go back there and see that you're not going to scratch up his car," he said.

And since 50 percent of all electronics purchasing is done by women, says Greenberg, "We're going to set up a lounge, a nice place to sit and maybe a Playstation where kids with mom can be entertained."

Chapter three of the Avidworx plan, is where the Starbucks effect is intensified. "Starbucks knows the lighting, the posters, the smell is important. That's why I'll spend $4 on a cup of coffee. But when I buy car stereo, it looks like I'm shopping in a pawn shop," says Greenberg. Avidworx says it employs interior designers to work on lighting and the store setup. It also trains salespeople. "Only 17 percent of people learn by story telling: 80 percent learn visually and 3 percent learn kinetically [by touching]. So why are you only focusing on 17 percent? Put the graphics up, make sure the lighting is highlighting the display," says Greenberg.

Chapter four provides the retailer access to an Avidworx "resource center" that helps retailers create a business plan, set goals and inform the sales crew what the new goals are. It also helps create a marketing plan.

Displays are determined by the size of the store and the mood the retailer wants to set. Avidworx offers nine "store in a box" designs. Each display contains a sound stage with head units, speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers and then an OEM integration display and a security display. There is also a sales counter and a mobile video display. The Avidworx packages run from approximately $20,000 to $80,000 but retailers can also purchase a single display starting at $1,000, Greenberg said.

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