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For many years—perhaps from the very beginning—AR had a difficult time selling their products in typical audio salon showrooms. In fact, from 1954 until around 1974, AR made no attempt to cultivate good dealer relationships. Nevertheless, and despite the lack of dealer success, AR outsold nearly every other speaker manufacturer worldwide for many years without a strong, formal dealer network. How was this possible? AR products traditionally had the highest ratings and best reviews, but a prospective speaker buyer would never know it to visit the typical, small hi-fi showroom where one usually encountered a negative vibe in a showroom when an AR speaker was being demonstrated. Many times, dealers would "doctor" the speaker, reverse the polarity, turn-down the level controls or place the speaker inappropriately or disadvantageously for good A-B demos with competing products. Some dealers felt that customers would enter a store, make a decision to buy an AR product and simply go out and order it from the Allied Radio or Lafayette catalogs. Was it due to.... 1. Low dealer profit margins? 2. Lack of dealer salesman "spiffs" paid by AR? 3. Lack of dealer promotionals? 4. Lack of dealer co-op advertising? 5. AR's lack of "hand-holding" and blasé attitude towards dealers? 6. AR's traditional laissez-faire method of doing business? 7. Other reasons? Give examples of experiences you've had in dealer showrooms where AR speakers were intentionally maligned, "bad-mouthed" or "doctored" in order for a dealer to steer an unsuspecting customer to another product. —Tom Tyson