Harvey Simplifies Its Custom Options

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The number of options for home theater and distributed-audio systems is daunting to many customers, so New York's Harvey Electronics has developed good/better/best "custom" packages that customers can use as is or as a starting point for a more individualized system.

In multiroom audio, Harvey starts with a $7,000 system (installed) consisting of a four-zone Niles controller and amplifier, a Marantz CD changer and receiver, and KEF in-wall speakers offered with a financing option. "For $172.18 a month, you can't beat it," said president Franklin Karp.

A $15,000 step-up multiroom system is built around an Elan control system, Adcom amps, and a Sony 300-disc CD changer. The flagship system is a $20,000 McIntosh multiroom, multizone keypad system with Niles speakers.

On the home theater side, all packages are HD-ready, and prices start at $9,000 for a system consisting of Marantz electronics, Boston Acoustics speakers, and a Mitsubishi 50-inch TV.

The program has been successful, Karp said, because most customers don't have time to sort through the mix-and-match options themselves. "If you simplify the selection process, most people will go that way instead of having to choose from column A and column B," he said. "People have a large amount of discretionary income, but they don't want to get bogged down in the selection process."

The package approach is also beneficial for salespeople, who can spend more time on presenting the experience rather than discussing the minutiae of component features, Karp said. "If you present customers with an intelligent, well-thought-out solution, they're going to go for it."

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