Sharon, Mass. -
will begin on June 1 to sell its NAD and PSB home audio brands through in-house regional sales managers for the first time after having sold exclusively through independent reps since the company's founding 20 years ago.
The company will drop all or almost all of its independent reps in the U.S. and will decide on Tuesday whether to keep one or two, said Dean Miller, who earlier this year was
president/CEO of the U.S.-based subsidiary of Canada's Lenbrook Group.
Lenbrook will hire three to four regional sales managers, each responsible for sales of the NAD, PSB, and Tivoli brands. They will report to Miller.
The company eliminated the positions of NAD national sales manager, PSB national sales manager and Tivoli national sales manager. NAD national sales manager Stephen DeFuria left the company."Jim Price, national sales manager for PSB and Tivoli, will become one of the company's regional sales managers. Two other regional sales managers will be announced June 1."
Mark Stone will continue in his capacity as marketing manager for the NAD and PSB brands, with most Tivoli marketing functions continuing to remain in the hands of Tivoli Audio, the tabletop audio supplier.
Miller told TWICE that the decision to go direct was difficult, given Lenbrook's long relationship with U.S. rep firms. "We're grateful to these companies," he said. Multiple factors, however, forced the company's hand, including retail consolidation in the specialty-A/V channel, a flat audio specialty market, and continued rising business costs.
With the ranks of specialty dealers having consolidated so much, added Lenbrook America marketing manager Mark Stone, "We can reach them more cost effectively through direct sales."
Overall, the company had used about 22 rep firms to sell the three brands, with some rep firms selling multiple brands.
In Canada, parent company Lenbrook Group has marketed PSB and NAD direct from the group's inception in 1978, Stone noted. The NAD Electronics and PSB Speakers brands, however, are both celebrating 40-year anniversaries this year.