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Tweeter Opens Two More Concept Stores; Adds Sonos To 150 Locations

12/04/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Tweeter Home Entertainment Group opened its fourth and fifth "consumer electronics playground" concept stores last month in Houston, Texas, and Wilmington, Del.

The new stores, like their predecessors, showcase whole-home control and automation through notional spaces that replicate fully-integrated family rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, sports bars and patio spaces. The concept stores also reflect Tweeter's new strategic direction as it moves away from traditional grab-and-go big box retail. The company says the playground stores have outperformed its legacy locations in margin, sales and in-home installations, and plans to steadily roll out the new design nationwide.

"We are very encouraged by the early success of our CE playground Stores," said president/CEO Joe McGuire. Our new business model is clearly resonating with consumers as we have an alternative to shopping for home and mobile entertainment products at the historically sterile big box retailers."

Paul Ryan, Tweeter's director of store design and category management, added that "We have created an authentic, comfortable place to shop for home entertainment technologies. Notional spaces which demonstrate how the latest CE products integrate into people's lives cues them to the design possibilities in their own homes and builds confidence in Tweeter's installation capabilities."

In other Tweeter news, the company is partnering with Sonos, maker of the wireless multi-room music system, to bring live demonstrations and in-store point-of-sale displays to more than 150 of its specialty CE stores.

The Sonos system, launched in September, gives users direct access via the Internet to the Rhapsody Online Music Service and the ability to listen to that music in every room of their home. The Tweeter in-store point-of-sale display will include Sonos ZonePlayers, the Sonos controller and speakers.

Tweeter said this deal is part of the evolution of its service and installation-based business model. "This revolutionary integration allows our stores to demonstrate to our customers how the Sonos system has unlimited access to millions of songs right 'out of the box' when they take it home and connect it up to their home network. No longer do they need to worry about ripping CDs to their hard-drive or downloading music through their computer. It's wireless, it's easy, and most of all, we love showing our customers how it works."

Thomas Cullen, co-founder and VP of sales and marketing for Sonos added "As recently as a year ago, sophisticated network systems and demonstrations like this were only available at small custom shops. We are proud to work with Tweeter as the first national retailer to demonstrate the power of Sonos in the digital home — right on the retail floor."