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Dealers: It's A Simple Case Of Black & White

7/22/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern


"It was a case of a product winning in its price point. It was an obvious choice," said Myer-Emco VP Gary Yacoubian, referring to Yamaha's success with the RX-V1000 home theater receiver. "An excellent combination of home theater and custom features made it very compelling."

A price reduction at the right time "gave it legs," the retailer added.

The receiver did have stiff competition, however. "In general, the industry did a good job of delivering features at that price point," Yacoubian said. "Nine hundred ninety-nine dollars was a hot price point last year, and there were a lot of features not previously available at that price point."

The receiver had enough going for it that excited Myer-Emco salespeople drove sales, Yacoubian said. "Our salespeople took the customers to it because it fulfilled customer needs," particularly with its "application-specific functions for custom install."

"In the realm of home theater receivers in the past 18-24 months, the product with the correct applications for its price point is the one that wins," he continued. "It's about what things it will do compared to another." Telling an audiophile story matters less at this price level within Myer-Emco's selection, he added, because "in our company, it's presumed that level of performance will be there at that price point."

Chris Yesh, a sales consultant at Jerry's Audio Video in Phoenix, also attributed the V1000's success to a combination of features and performance for the price.

Yamaha's musical-instrument heritage also contributed to the product's success, he said. "There's a story behind the Yamaha name. People come in asking for the brand."

"By far it was our most popular receiver in units even at $999," he added.

Yesh cited multiple features that led him and other salespeople to introduce customers to the product. One was multizone capability, which other receivers in the three-store chain's stock didn't offer at that price point. In Arizona, he said, multizone is a key selling point because consumers want to drive pool-side outdoor speakers in addition to their indoor speakers. "People are outside a lot by their pool with their windows shut [to keep in the air-conditioned air]," he explained.

The V1000's multizone feature was a "no brainer" to use, thanks to the use of a jog shuttle to select sources for the second zone, he added.

About 20 percent of the unit's sales went into custom-installed systems because of such installer-friendly features as 12-volt triggers and RS-232 port, Yesh said.

Assignable inputs, a learning remote, five-channel stereo mode, and an audible difference due to high quality DACs also contributed to the unit's success, he said.

Yesh also pointed out that the V1000 outdid equally priced competitors in one or more of the following attributes: build quality, wattage and headroom. Yamaha didn't turn to spiffs or sales contests to accelerate the receiver's sales, he said. In fact, "there were no sales contests for this product's entire life span."

Top 10 Audio Receivers

SRP $500-$1,000, May 2001- April 2002

Rank By Unit Sales Brand/Model Rank By $ Sales
1 Yamaha RVX1000 2
2 Denon AVR3802 1
3 Yamaha HTR5280 6
4 Yamaha RXV800 5
5 Yamaha RXV1200 3
6 Denon AVR2802 4
7 Onkyo TXDS696 7
8 Sony STRDE1075 8
9 Onkyo TXDS787 11
10 Onkyo TXDS797 9
Source: NPDTechworld©TWICE 2002