Dealers Applaud Sony’s New Home Systems
Specialty retailers welcomed Sony’s new NHS rack systems, saying the scaled-down solutions will help them push more installations to a broader customer base.
“Those types of offerings are very important because you have to drive solutions into the sweet spots,” said Jim O’Neil, vice president of merchandising at Electronics Expo, which recently launched its Xtecs installation division. “We’d like to sell a lot more systems in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.”
Based on the NHS-130C whole house entertainment and automation, the new NHS-A30C and -70C are fully integrated, pre-wired racks that include iPod connectivity and control, satellite radio, whole-home HD video distribution, and automation based on Control4’s solution. The A30C provides three zones of distribution, with pricing for full intallation estimated between $15,000 and $30,000, while the 70C provides seven zones, with installation prices estimated between $30,000 and $50,000.
By contrast, the 130C coveres13 zones, with installation estimated around $75,000.
As more CE retailers develop installation divisions that go beyond mounting flat-screen TVs and running speaker wires, they’re looking for differentiating solutions that bring more product and services into the mix. A handful of established specialty dealers are also growing their Control4 business through their partnership with the PRO Group buying group, making Sony’s new racks, which are only available to certified Control4 dealers, an even more attractive option.
“This is a good product,” said John Flanner of Flanner’s Home Entertainment about the rack systems, “because home control is emerging as the next hot product category for us. But we’ve been struggling as an industry to make control solutions affordable and accessible.”
Those types of solutions, retailers said, helps bring them into more customer homes, which generates deeper long-term relationships and recurring revenue opportunities.
“Anything that helps us do that makes us more important to the customer,” Flanner said. “We want to be the customer’s trusted CE and technology advisor.”