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Boston Acoustics Boosted By Bassett Deal


Boston Acoustics will get a promotional
boost and expanded customer base from its
partnership with Bassett Furniture.

The audio supplier is embedding its soundbar technology
into a series of Nvelop credenzas for flat-panel TVs.

Four Nvelop credenzas priced from a suggested
$1,499 to $1,999 will be sold only through Bassett’s
distribution channels. Floor samples
are already shipping to Bassett-
branded furniture stores and
to other furniture retailers.

Boston’s name appears on the
grill of each embedded soundbar
solution, which delivers simulated
surround sound and includes
a separate downfiring subwoofer
hidden inside.

In promoting the credenzas,
Bassett will include the Boston
Acoustics name in advertising to
bring credibility to the audio solution,
said Bassett retail marketing
director Pete Morrison. Bassett
will launch a series of ads starting
Memorial Day weekend in the
Wall Street Journal and provide
ROP ads to retail stores. The credenzas
will also be advertised in
direct mail, web ads and on Bassett’s web site, which
will sell the credenzas for fulfillment by local dealers.

Bassett’s web site will let consumers rotate pictures
of the credenzas by 360 degrees and simulate
the difference in sound quality between TV speakers
and the Boston Acoustics soundbar embedded in the

To support sell-through, Bassett offers an A/B
switch with a big green button to switch between the
embedded Boston Acoustics soundbar and TV speakers
through which a DVD demo disc will play. Bassett
is requiring retailers to hook up at least one switch,
which is made by Audio Authority. Dealers who display
four credenzas get a free switch.

The consumers who will get the demo will represent
“a host of new customers exposed to Boston Acoustics,”
said Eli Harary, Boston’s senior VP of global
brand management. The Bassett channel delivers
customers that Boston doesn’t get through its traditional
CE channels, he noted.

Bassett customers, said Morrison,
are interested in decorating,
and “we are about decorating.”
The credenzas “combine the
beauty of furniture and the beauty
of Boston Acoustics” without wiring
up speakers that “detract from
the beauty of the decor,” he said.

Harary called the products the
“only furniture-centric products
with high-quality audio built in.”

Past attempts by consumer
electronics suppliers to sell
through furniture stores have not
been successful because people
don’t go to furniture stores to buy
electronics, he said. “That’s like
selling lawn mowers in a Mercedes
store.” What’s different
about the Bassett strategy, he
said, is that customers are coming to the store to buy
a TV credenza, and salespeople can then subtly point
out that the credenza solves an additional problem.

Bassett’s sales channels consist of about 100 Bassett-
branded stores nationwide, half owned by Bassett
and the other half owned by licensees. In markets
that lack Bassett-branded stores, Bassett also sells
through around 120 other furniture stores that have
made a sizable commitment to displaying Bassett
products. Products are also available through select
interior designers.