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Harman Consumer Planning More Stores Within Stores

Consumer expects to bring its
store-within-a-store merchandising
concept to more retailers in late
spring and summer following the
February debut of the fi rst Harman
store in Nebraska Furniture Mart’s
Kansas City, Kan., location.

The in-store merchandising
program, which groups multiple
Harman brands together in
a single display area, imports a
concept that Harman began rolling
out four years ago in Europe,
where about 400 Harman stores
within stores operate, said consumer
and fi eld marketing director Chris
Dragon. Some of Harman’s European
display areas range up to thousands of
square feet.

“It’s the start of us changing our
business model,” Dragon said. “It’s
a partnership commitment, and it
won’t be just for the big guys.”

Harman will support the dedicated
display areas with an escalated
level of fi eld marketing support, including
more frequent training and
a commitment to update and detail
the display area, Dragon said. The
company also plans to promote the
display areas in print and on-line media
for its retail partners.

At NFM, the Harman area takes
up about 12 by 15 square feet on the
store’s main racetrack near the TV department,
but Harman will work individually
with retailers to determine the appropriate
amount of fl oor space as well as the
Harman brands to be included.

At NFM, the Harman area features
the entire selection of Harman/Kardon
A/V receivers, an HK Blu-ray player, a
prepackaged JBL 5.1 speaker system,
two JBL iPod/iPhone-docking speaker
systems, an HK iPod-docking boombox
and three over-ear AKG headphones
connected to a music source. The JBL
5.1 speaker system is connected to HK’s
flagship receiver, HK’s Blu-ray player
and a TV display. To activate surroundsound
audio, consumers press a large
button mounted on a fl oor-mounted pedestal.
A bench seat has room for three.

The area is open except for a back wall
on which the AVRs, TV, Blu-ray player
and front JBL speakers are mounted.