Harvey Electronics

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205 Chubb Avenue, Lyndhurst, N.J. 07071

201-842-0078, harveyonline.com

Franklin Karp, president

Annual Sales (fis.i 2002): $41.5 million

Number of Stores: 6, plus 2 Bang & Olufsen stores and 1 Harvey in-store shop

Product Mix: Custom-installation for home theater, premium CE

Lyndhurst, N.J.— Founded in 1927 on Radio Row on the southern tip of Manhattan, Harvey is one of the oldest CE businesses in the country. The flexibility necessary to change with the times may be this company's secret to success, because although president Franklin Karp has said before and still agrees that audio is his stores' backbone, he recently acknowledged that "video is driving the business."

"Audio is what separates us from the big-box sellers, and audio is what we built our reputation on," he said. But Harvey's high-end audio offerings are also what the company is now using to connect — quite literally — to upper echelon video products such as flat-panel TVs for big-ticket sales.

One recent example of the company's attention to video was the addition in May of a gallery in its flagship store devoted to German-based Loewe's DTVs and new home theater systems — the first of its kind in the United States. As a result, Karp said, "Traffic has increased dramatically … and my Loewe's business is up as well." The vendor's plasma sets are scheduled to arrive in September, and Karp expects this will be another draw for his early-adopter clientele.

Karp believes service is also key to Harvey's longtime success. The company offers A/V and home theater design specialists as well as custom install experts within a posh store environment in an effort to woo those willing to splurge on their CE products. Asked to sum up what separates Harvey's from its competitors, Karp replied, "A combination of total customer service and commitment to the client."

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