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Why not more experience stores? Rega?!

Discussion in 'audio' started by benjaminreed1, Nov 19, 2021.

  1. benjaminreed1

    benjaminreed1 Benjamin Reed

    I was walking around and saw a Devialet experience store. The premise being you listen and have a good brand experience, then may buy in the future via a dealer or internet. (I don't own this brand btw because of the recycling issues).

    Brands like Dyson, Tesla, Samsung all do the same experience thing.

    I used to go into Billy Vee and a few other dealers but increasingly I find them not inclusive enough, a bit too behind closed doors, unwelcoming, if you know what I mean. (this might just be me!)

    Also, with the difficulty of getting to dealerships and the issues with shows, I wonder why brands like Rega don't have experience stores?

    Any insight much appreciated.
  2. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    Sony used to do the same; but I haven't seen one for ages and suspect most if not all have closed down.

    From a practical perspective, it's a very expensive proposition for a manufacturer. I'm also not sure why it would be easier to get to than a dealer.

    And finally, something in me cringes at the idea of an "experience".
  3. RoA

    RoA pfm Member

    Not sure about 'Experience Stores' but it sure would be good if they get RS to stock the brand. It's about the only Hifi Retailer that is still in many places and easily accessible.
  4. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    I went into Billy Vee about thirty years ago. They were unwelcoming back then.
  5. JustJohn

    JustJohn pfm Member

    I've always found the chaps in Billy Vee to be very helpful, but the shop could do with a refresh and be a little more welcoming.

    As for Rega, I like the idea of an experience store, and it's something I'd certainly visit, but they have built a successful business model around their many dealers that deliberately avoids much in the way of marketing or advertising spend, so as long as it continues to serve their purposes why mess with that winning formula?
  6. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    Quite a few Focal powered by Naim stores have opened around the world in the last couple of years...


    (Not sure about that one.)
  7. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    The problem with this idea, to my mind, is that it has to be brand-specific. An 'experience store' offering a selection of brands is, er, a hifi dealer. So if you've already decided Devialet is a contender, then go listen to some Devialet. But if you then want to know how that experience stacks up against other stuff available for similar money, the experience store is of no use to you. I'm suspicious of any company that would use this model, to be frank, because it is intentionally limiting choice and trying to dominate a market.
    Snufkin likes this.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Isn’t this what any high st dealer is meant to be for? If you want to experience Rega go to any of their many dealers!
  9. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I live walking distance from Billy Vee and weirdly it's never occurred to me look inside. I guess I'm more interested in vintage/classic gear than the latest Naim/Linn/Rega box.

    Just looking at their website. 'New Products - Hot from the wizards sleeve' is an, er, unfortunate phrase.
    GruntPuppy, Del monaco and zarniwoop like this.
  10. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Actually, on reflection it was more like forty years ago, so I doubt it’s the same bods working there now.

    I wanted to hear a comparison between a Michell Focus One and a Rega Planar. The bloke said it wasn’t worth doing, because the Rega was ‘obviously better’. This was my first experience of being told I couldn’t trust my own ears, but hardly the last.
    GruntPuppy, Tim Jones and doctorf like this.
  11. JustJohn

    JustJohn pfm Member

    The environment there doesn't encourage browsing, you really need to have a reason to go in unless you want to feel like right plum, which I suppose is the antithesis of the 'experience'. But then I've always had good customer service from them (for example, I bought an AT stylus there and the suspension collapsed after a few months, they didn't hesitate to exchange).
  12. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    A brand experience store - is it just me that cringes at the name?

    edit: ha, clearly not
  13. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    Didn’t Linn try this in Glasgow?
  14. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Me too. I’ve just come off the phone after calling my bank. The never-ending stream of recorded information included advice that on their website I could look forward to ‘an assisted online experience.’ I was very excited, and had got as far as selecting my best smoking jacket, putting a bottle of champagne on ice and bachelor pad music on the Dansette before I realised that all they meant was Live Chat.
    Lowand, simon g, Jono_13 and 4 others like this.
  15. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    These guys?

  16. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Yep. Maybe Mel Smith did some fieldwork down Lewisham way.
    Dirkster likes this.
  17. benjaminreed1

    benjaminreed1 Benjamin Reed

    I agree! The awkward silence and look as you push the front door open, and there is a demo going on.

    I always feel obliged to buy in a dealership because I think their time is too valuable to just let me sit around and swap stuff about.

    Maybe experience is the wrong word, and dealers need to just open up and be more inclusive, especially for Hifi newbies.

    I was in Billy Vee in 1997...they had Dire Straits on a fully loaded LP12.
  18. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

    Irrelevant to the man on the street as Rega have no Streaming , Home Cinema , Headphones , Subwoofers etc
    Naim/Focal stores can offer consumers a complete range from £1k atom to £300k stereo/home cinema
  19. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    I rather doubt anybody considering spending £300k on audio would do so on the basis of an experience store, though.
  20. zarniwoop

    zarniwoop hoopy frood

    :D someone needs to send them a link to the urban dictionary
    GruntPuppy, Jono_13 and doctorf like this.

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