CR Talks To: Rich Taylor, Marketing Manager, Parts Express: Surviving & Growing With 
Parts Express

Audio-focused distributor concentrates on servicing the integrator, providing exclusive solutions.

Taylor: We use our local dealers and integrators here in Ohio to help us design feature sets; they tell us what they’re trying to accomplish in their installs and we work with them on incorporating their needs. We have our own electronics line of amplifiers, sub amps and multi-channel amps for zoned audio—designed in-house.

On the speaker side, we’re very strong in subwoofers, especially low-frequency reinforcement, and we make true high-performers. We also do contract-type bundles of in-ceilng and in-wall speakers. Even with the housing market decline, we’re still strong in those areas.

We want to make sure we offer products that are of an exclusive nature for our dealers. A lot of people will price-shop their home audio and video needs. What we want to do is offer products that are “unshoppable.” A Dayton Audio product is really unshoppable outside Parts Express; that way, it’s not a price issue with a customer.
Because we carry such a broad line, our speakers, for example, can reach anywhere from a DIY speaker builder to a small OEM. On the wholesale side, we sell a lot of Dayton Audio equipment for commercial installers.

We regiment our dealer base strongly, and each approved dealer is assigned their own representative who knows their business. We have technicians on staff who are ready to support the product. We think that’s important. A lot of people look at the Internet and say they don’t need that personalized approach. But in today’s economy, you do need an in-house expert who knows what’s selling for other installers, and to make sure you’re fully aware of opportunities that exist.

CR: What are some important initiatives you’re executing in 2011 that will help retailers and integrators make more money? And what categories are you expanding on for this year?

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