The good news for custom retailers is that everyone wants a home theater. Even better is the news that home theaters continue to be a "solution sale"—assessing wants and needs, addressing physical and time constraints, and finally selecting and delivering a complete solution. Unfortunately, many salespeople focus only on part of the solution—the electronics—and ignore or leave until the end the one item that significantly defines the rest of the solution—the actual home theater interior.
A home theater interior includes the acoustical performance of the room, the type and placement of the seating, how well the room is sound-insulated from the rest of the house, the stage and/or riser design, and the fit and finish of the room. Until you have decided on a basic direction with the room interior, you really can't pick the electronics. However, selling the home theater interior is not only easy and profitable, but an action that will help custom retailers increase home theater sales and profits.
THE FOUR TYPES OF HOME THEATERS
There are four basic types of home theater interiors: media/family room, dedicated, custom, and unique. None of these descriptions is absolute, and all are subject to interpretation.
A media/family room theater is a multipurpose room, often with several entrances, and an informal feel. L or U-shaped couches at the same floor level provide the seating. Speakers and projectors are normally visible. Acoustical treatments range from none to attractive wood-framed panels with fabric-wrapped acoustical inserts to accentuate the room appearance. This is the most common type of home theater interior asked for by customers; however, before you rush the sale, be aware of serious trade-offs for the customer and yourself as compared to other types of interiors.
The next three types all provide the look and feel of a "real" theater and require a dedicated room.