Harman Consumer Planning More Stores Within Stores

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NORTHRIDGE, CALIF. — Harman 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.

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