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Sound Advice Returning To Florida

Fort Lauderdale,
Fla. – Sound Advice, the premium A/V specialty chain that closed with corporate
parent Tweeter, could be back in business by September.

The operation is
being resurrected by former chairman/CEO Peter Beshouri and senior executive
Michael Blumberg, who reacquired the brand, mailing lists and other
intellectual properties in Tweeter’s bankruptcy sale.

Beshouri plans to
have a website up by September and the first new showroom opened by year’s end.

Tweeter acquired Sound
Advice in a 2002 stock deal valued at about $150 million. The chain had about
33 stores throughout Florida at the time, and initially continued as a wholly
owned subsidiary. Tweeter later integrated Sound Advice into its operations,
and eventually went bankrupt in 2008.

Beshouri believes
the loss of powerful, independent regional A/V specialists like Tweeter, Sound
Advice and Magnolia has created “an extraordinary void in the marketplace, and
nature abhors a void.”

To help fill that
niche while adapting to new economic and marketplace realities, he and partner
Blumberg plan to leverage the Internet, limit showroom expansion, and keep a
tight rein on costs. The company will continue to offer the best in audio and
video hardware while focusing on service, upgrades, connectivity issues and
solution-oriented selling, he said, and is banking on Sound Advice’s
35-year-old brand, sterling reputation and many thousands of former customers.

Most transactions
will be conducted on-site, Beshouri said, with appointments initiated online.
House calls will be made by Sound Advice employees and also outsourced to former
company installers, now independent, to ensure consistency of service.

Sound Advice will
also maintain a traditional retail business, albeit through smaller 4,000- to
5,000-square-foot showrooms, compared with the company’s previous
16,000-square-foot format. Much of the extra space was taken up categories that
Beshouri won’t re-enter, such as digital imaging and 12-volt A/V and
installation, he said, and store growth will be limited to one location within
each major Florida market.

Under the plan,
Beshouri will handle sales and marketing and Blumberg will oversee merchandising,
just as they had during the company’s initial reign.

Sound Advice is
also collaborating with Jon Myer, late of MyerEmco, who may also re-enter the
marketplace with a similar business model and solution-oriented showroom

“A wall of TVs
doesn’t make sense anymore,” Beshouri said. “You have to go about it in a
different way.”

Beshouri seemed
unfazed by the challenge of relaunching a business during a deep recession and within
an especially hard-hit market, citing the continued success of high-end
retailers Neiman Marcus and Saks. “There’s no magic,” he said. “It’s a matter
of being real organized, very lean, hiring the best people, and getting
customers’ needs filled in a credible and honest way.”

He added: “If
anyone can resurrect the Sound Advice legacy, it’s its founders.”