UK Hi-Fi Shops Surveyed On Their Return

Posted on 25th June, 2020

UK Hi-Fi Shops Surveyed On Their Return

As the UK welcomes back hi-fi stores, Clarity Alliance asked the industry about the steps they are taking.

Clarity, the hi-fi industry's trade association, surveyed audio retailers with 100% confirming that they have, or are, re-opening their shops following the government's easing of the lockdown rules.

Sonta Hi-Fi reopens

London's Sonata Hi-Fi Re-opens

Tom Barron, chairman of Clarity, told StereoNET:

Music lovers and hi-fi fans will now be able to once again visit their local hi-fi retailers and indulge their passion for better sound and better gear.

In the run-up to the 15th June, the date set for non-essential stores to be able to re-open by the government, the hi-fi industry was asked how it has been affected by the lockdown. Additionally, the survey asked what efforts were made to continue trading and what the plans are for the re-opening of shops.

DROP IN SPENDING

It's no surprise that the general trend was a reduction in customer spending, for both retailers and manufacturer/ distributors. However, no companies reported a complete cessation of business activities. The majority of respondents said that business had continued during the lockdown, but with slightly reduced levels of sales. Additionally, there was a big switch to online selling and click and collect, which helped mitigate the effects of having to close down retail outlets.

Several manufacturers and distributors had responded to the needs of their retail customers by instigating a 'drop-shipment' model, where retailers were able to order products to be delivered directly by the supplier.

SAFETY FIRST

Loud & Clear Edinburgh

Safe and social - Loud & Clear Edinburgh

With the re-opening of traditional bricks and mortar hi-fi shops, the vast majority of companies have introduced PPE for staff, and provide hand sanitiser for both customers and staff. Also there is a significant increase in cleaning, particularly of frequent contact points such as door handles, washrooms, display/ demo products and remote controls.

To maximise protection for customers and staff alike, government guidelines regarding queuing systems, distance markers and limits to the number of people allowed into the shops are being put in place. Many retailers have moved to an appointment-only policy.

Tom Barron adds:

I am very pleased to see the retailers making concerted efforts to make the environment as safe as possible for shoppers and staff. We operate in a very people-focused business, where personal contact and consultation is key to helping customers achieve their aims and requirements. And, while it is obviously going to be impossible to continue with business as normal, the retailers will all be doing their best to make the hi-fi experience as enjoyable and rewarding as they possibly can.

Over the past few months, it has been heartening to see how resourceful the retailers and manufacturers have been in helping customers with their hi-fi requirements – a sign of what a great industry it is that we work in and the excellent levels of service we collectively offer.

StereoNET welcomes all our friends in hi-fi retail back and wishes them and their customers a safe experience.

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Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Retailer News Hi-Fi Industry
Tags: sonata  loud & clear  clarity  clarity alliance 

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