The search term hi fi shop gives me hope. The fact that people actually search for the term hi fi shop lets me know that people still think of brick and mortar hi fi shops. I certainly hope so.
Hi fi shops that I used to go to were something I looked forward to. It was great to see all the new speakers and amplifiers. It was also wonderful to be able to sit and listen to the equipment in a room that was similar to my room at home. Sitting in the listening chair and having the salespeople change out the speakers and move a new amplifier in place to listen to was a real joy.
The salespeople were all excited about the manufacturers they represented and the new technologies that they created. They had passion for the companies they represented and that excitement and passion came through when they gave you a demonstration in the hi fi shop. Most salespeople believed in their products that they sold and most of them owned the same products that they were selling.
In today’s economy, brick and mortar hi fi shops are dying. Every hi fi shop that I used to visit is gone no matter what part of the country one considers. Even the biggest shops such as Sounds By Singer in New York are gone. The internet has brought price competition to new levels and hi fi shops with overhead can not compete in this type of environment. When customers shop for price only, something in the hi – fi process has been lost. The goal becomes buying at the lowest price, not hearing the best sound quality.
There is one place that the old school, hi fi shop passion still exists. Trade shows offer individuals the opportunity to sit in a room and listen to speakers, amplifiers, and cables in a real room setting just like the dealer showrooms we used to go to. What’s even better, is that one can walk from room to room, floor to floor, and hear different gear in each room. Everyone is excited and both customers and manufacturers are glad to be there. We even have room service. What more could one ask for.