Sherbourn Adopts Direct-to-Consumer Model
Sherbourn Technologies is revamping its distribution model with a new direct-to-consumer feature. Sherbourn is also cutting the pricing of its products to provide consumers and participants of its dealer incentive program with additional savings.
In a move it says proactively addresses the evolution of the consumer audio industry, Sherbourn Technologies is adding a direct-to-consumer model to its distribution efforts, following the path set by sister company Emotiva. Sherbourn will offer a special dealer program to not completely abandon the channel.
Dan Laufman, president of Sherbourn Technologies, says changes within the industry over the past two years led the company in this new direction.
“Brick-and-mortar [A/V sales] is changing. The market is consolidated with big-box retailers and boutique [high-performance] retailers, and once we had the product we discovered there was no channel for us to sell through,” he says. “Emotiva has done well and grown consistently. It has a rabid and diverse following. We found once we built the product line, we didn’t have a home. Meanwhile, Emotiva was growing like crazy and Emotiva’s customers were asking for Sherbourn’s features. The market is either high-end audio or low-end, and the middle part of the market wasn’t coming back.”
Laufman says the move symbolizes the new era of home audio, where consumers are empowering themselves at one end of the market and boutique audio is driving luxury sales at the other end.
“At our yearly meeting, we looked at the trends and saw that Sherbourn’s [business] model wasn’t going to be successful,” he admits. “Enthusiasts want Sherbourn’s features and we didn’t want to take [our products] up market, so we made the decision to employ our factory-direct model with Sherbourn.”
“Customers are getting smarter, and we didn’t envision that two years ago,” he says. “So we thought we would get out in front of it. Dealers are different now, too. The commitment isn’t the same. Big receivers are now commodities, it’s not brand ‘X,’ ‘Y” or ‘Z’ … it’s just a commodity.”
Dealer Program to Reward Installers
Not wanting to discourage integrators from using the brand, Sherbourn is introducing a program that protects dealers from the online commodity wars that plague the market. “It’s important to note that this more direct path to consumers also provides significant benefits for our dealers,” he states. “Our new Direct Dealer Program allows professional installers to make better margins than they would by selling mass-produced consumer brands.”
Laufman says the new program also fosters a more direct relationship with dealers because it moves away from the standard industry model that includes a distributor and factory rep.
As a result of this new direct model, Sherbourn will also lower the price of its products. Sherbourn says it will maintain the same quality and back products with 5- and 10-year warranties.
Here is Sherbourn’s new pricing:
- PT-7030 preamp/processor was $2,999; it is now $1,799
- PA 7-350 seven-channel amp was $4,999; it is now $2,799
- PA 7-150 seven-channel amp was $2,499; it is now $1,499
- PA 5-200 five-channel amp was $1,999; it is now $1,199
- SR-8100 A/V receiver was $1,199; it is now $899
- PA 2-160 stereo amp was $899; it is now $579
- PA 2-250 stereo amp was $1,699; it is now $999
- PRE-1 preamplifier was $899; it is now $529
- CD-1 CD player $899; is is now $499
- PA 12-45 12-channel amp was $1,099; it is now $599
- PA 4Z-75 two-channel/four-zone amp was $699; it is now $549
- PA 2-50 stereo amp was $499; it is now $269
- PA 18-45 18-channel amp was $1,699; it is now $799
- C-12 cooling unit was $199; it is now $99
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]
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