Paramus, N.J. - New Jersey A/V specialty chain Electronics Expo has introduced Connectivity demonstration centers at five of its seven stores.
The live, 10-station displays graphically demonstrate how devices can interact wirelessly and send photos, music, videos and other content throughout the home and around the world.
The vertically-integrated stations highlight 10 categories: tablets; home automation; networked audio; streaming video; DJ equipment; gaming; portable audio; wireless cameras, camcorders and printers; and computers.
The Connectivity centers are located near the main entrances of the stores, and are manned by two specially trained staffers who offer customers demonstrations, expert advice and even coffee with no hard sell.
Electronics Expo executive VP Rich Yanitelli said the centers were inspired by a "spoke-and-hub" accessories demonstration by Monster Cable's Noel Lee. The concept was adapted by the A/V chain over the past six months to show tech-modest customers the full capabilities of connected devices, and to hopefully move the sale from single SKUs to complete systems.
The centers also provide a value-added service that can't be replicated online. "People will come here for more than just seeing a TV before buying it on the web," Yanitelli said.
Electronics Expo principal Leon Temiz described the centers as "Apple Stores on steroids," and said they reflect his decision to invest in existing stores before opening new locations. The Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group) dealer has already eyed three or four potential properties, all within the chain's new, smaller 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot target footprint, and said the scalable architecture of the Connectivity centers would support a relatively easy rollout.
Temiz and Yanitelli formally unveiled the centers at a reception last night for vendors and company friends -- including former New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet -- at the chain's Paramus, N.J., store.