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Two Dealers Opening First McIntosh Experience Centers

11/03/2011 10:34:18 AM Eastern

Binghamton, N.Y. - The first
McIntosh Experience Centers will open in two dealer showrooms in the coming
days to the accompaniment of live in-store musical performances and demonstrations
of McIntosh sound systems.

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McIntosh is teaming with its dealers
to build McIntosh-dedicated rooms in stores "to engage and educate new audio
enthusiasts to a high quality music listening experience," the company said.

The first of the two Experience
Centers will open Friday, Nov. 4, at Century Stereo in San Jose, Calif. The
second will open on Thursday, Nov. 10, at IQ Home Entertainment in Fairfax, Va.

For the grand openings, rock band
Taddy Porter will take the
stage at Century Stereo, and the Nashville pop-rock group "States" will perform in Fairfax.

The dealers worked with McIntosh
to promote the grand openings through Facebook and Twitter, the dealers' web
sites, local media, the dealers' customer lists, and McIntosh's own database of
McIntosh users.

Both Experience Centers were
custom-designed for each store, with the Century Stereo center taking up 360
square feet and the IQ Home Entertainment center taking up 400 square feet.
Both centers are promoted as prestige settings that create an at-home atmosphere
with a couch, McIntosh-related art on the walls, a plasma TV displaying a blue
McIntosh VU meter with moving needle, and three McIntosh electronics-speaker
systems intended for different use cases and designed to simplify the
purchasing decision. One system, the MX-A60 compact tabletop stereo system, is
targeted to people living in small spaces. The SoHo stereo system features
full-sized components, including a turntable. And the Westchester is a home
theater system consisting of full-size components and speakers.

Also for playback on the plasma
TV, McIntosh provides participating dealers with a "mood-reel" disc and a
"sizzle-reel" disc. The former features brand images; the latter features
videos of the company's factory in action and the company's listening parties
with noted musicians.

McIntosh hopes to open 10
Experience Centers per year beginning in its fiscal 2012, which begins in
April, said Linda Passaro, global VP of sales and marketing. McIntosh revealed
its intentions
a year ago to launch the Experience Centers as part of a
drive to position itself as a luxury brand that would expand its appeal to more
consumers.

McIntosh dealers who build the
Experience Centers get stepped up support, including support for a grand
opening, support for product-launch events, and a prime position on the
McIntosh web site. Participants also get a boost in marketing funds and co-op,
dating programs for McIntosh Center inventory, in-store training for all staff,
and event-planning support, including arranging for bands to play at the grand
openings.

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