INDIANAPOLIS (April 3, 2008) — Since their introduction in 1999, Klipsch® Reference Series speakers have been sold exclusively through specialty A/V storefronts. Last month, however, this sales strategy shifted slightly when six retailers, authorized by Klipsch, began selling the fourth generation of this premium home audio lineup on their web sites.
After much consideration and planning, Klipsch selected the following retailers to help successfully launch the series online: Crutchfield, Vanns Electronics, ABT Electronics, OneCall, Sound Distributors and Sixth Avenue Electronics. All six retailers will carry the complete Reference IV line—everything from floorstanders to subwoofers.
According to Paul Jacobs, president and COO of Klipsch Group, Inc., there were two major reasons behind this new online distribution strategy.
First of all, over the past several years, Klipsch has filed multiple lawsuits against unauthorized companies selling its products over the Internet. Not only does this unfortunate scenario violate Klipsch’s trademarks and reputation, it also negatively impacts online shoppers who, unbeknownst to them, end up buying B-stock, or even used, products that are devoid of any warranty or customer support. “For those who prefer to purchase our Reference products online, we are making it possible for them to buy from a reputable source that provides A-quality products, expertise and support,” said Jacobs.
Secondly, in certain markets, especially areas where there has been retail consolidation, it can be difficult for consumers to find and purchase the Reference Series. “By having these products online, consumers don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort trying to find our speakers. They now have the ability to order product 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Jacobs.
When it came to choosing its online partners, Klipsch went about it very strategically. All six retailers had to meet the following criteria: MAP pricing adherence, call-in tech support at least 16 hours per day, ownership of all warranty repair, top-notch online security, clear privacy statements, real-time order status reporting, archival of sales records for two years, high-level business insurance, no eBay sales on current merchandise, sales to end-users only and strict adherence to Klipsch branding guidelines.
“These six retailers have been selling direct for many years and have earned a solid reputation with not only Klipsch, but the entire industry,” said Jacobs. “They know our products and know how to provide the absolute best customer care, so there was no doubt in my mind when it came to selecting them as our online partners.”
Jacobs also mentioned that in addition to serving a consumer segment that prefers the online shopping experience, he is confident the increased brand exposure in this controlled environment complements and strengthens Klipsch’s more traditional channels.