BrandsMart Bows 'Home' Store

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BrandsMart, the Kansas City, Mo.-based independent CE dealer, borrowed a page from department store floor planners for its fifth location, which opened here last month: a home setting concept.

The store's 10,000-square-foot showroom has a model home built inside to demonstrate technology applications for the kitchen, family room and dining room. Throughout the store are vignettes showcasing audio and video components, as well as three signature displays: a Speaker Room, featuring 50 different models; the Plasma Gallery, which presents flat panel monitors in an art gallery-like setting; and the Big Screen Arc, a panorama of wide-screen HDTVs.

"We spent a great deal of time looking at how electronics are displayed across the country," explained store designer John Brumbaugh. "When you go to a Best Buy or Circuit City, and all the product is sitting on the shelves, the husband is usually pursuing the purchase and the wife gets dragged along. This store looks like an actual home inside so the wife will feel more comfortable coming in."

The store also places a heavy emphasis on custom installation, features a state-of-the-art mobile electronics showroom and installation facility, and provides such services as a Rapid Response Team to facilitate in-home installations.

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