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AVRevForum.com 01-31-2008 03:55 PM

Harvey's Closes Flagship Manhattan Location
 
The historically significant, New York-based audio-video retailer Harvey’s will be closing their 45th Street store, located on Manhattan’s famous "Radio Row.” The store closing comes as Best Buy is kicking ass and taking names in the world of big-box retail, with repercussions felt all the way up the food chain to mid-level retailers like Harvey’s.

Just five years ago, flat HDTVs gave a meaningful and large-scale group of new customers a reason to consider upgrades to their televisions for the first time in decades. At the same time, any AV dealer could make a fair margin selling one of these flat HDTVs (20 to 30 percent profit at retail), an amount that could be easily total $1,000 or more per set sold. This was before they tried to get you to "invest" in a warranty. Roll the tape forward to 2008 and the likes of Costco and Wal-Mart sell flat HDTVs as if they are no different than giant boxes of cereal or a 24-pack of paper towels, and with comparable three percent margins. So much for "specialty AV retailer." Consumers love the precipitous drop in prices, but retailers like Tweeter and Harvey’s struggle to offer "cost-is-the-only issue" sales and, like the warehouse stores, are suffering terribly nationwide. With the 25-year old Compact Disc, the leading audio format this side of an iPod, most mid-level audio stores have amazingly forgotten how to sell audio in meaningful ways, and yet audio retains the margins needed to pay the rent in Manhattan, as well as every other city in America.

Harvey’s is not going out of business as a chain. They still have a store on 19th Street in Manhattan, as well as other locations around the area that are serviced by a loyal clientele. They also reportedly own a Bang & Olufsen franchise in the city, as well as in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The closing of the 45th Street store is symbolic in many ways of how the home theater retail business has changed in recent years. My first trip ever to New York City was with my stepfather in 1983 to the 45th Street location to buy a Denon Compact Disc player. It was $1,000 at the time and the discs were close to $30 a pop. As a wide-eyed nine-year-old from Philadelphia, it was hard not to be impressed by the big city and all of its glitz, even if I deeply hated (and still do, despite a $100 bet on the Giants to cover in Sunday’s Super Bowl) New York’s sports teams. Inside Harvey’s, it was hard not to virtually be a kid in a candy store. The AV toys were everywhere and we were coming home with the newest and coolest the store had to offer. For decades after that, whether it was DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, D-VHS, satellite TV, TiVo, Blu-ray, HD DVD or even the latest computer or software from Apple, I have always been an early adopter. I like to think it all started at Harvey’s in New York way back in the day. Today, that era sadly ended, but the influence lives on – at least with me.

by: Jerry Del Colliano
Source: Informationweek.com

kelsci 01-31-2008 07:39 PM

Re: Harvey's Closes Flagship Manhattan Location
 
Sorry to hear about that Jerry. The last time I was in that store was in the 80s with my brother who was looking to buy a McIntosh Integrated Amplifier. True that the store was a electronics candy store.

deacongreg 01-31-2008 07:52 PM

Re: Harvey's Closes Flagship Manhattan Location
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AVRevForum.com (Post 10386)
The historically significant, New York-based audio-video retailer Harvey’s will be closing their 45th Street store, located on Manhattan’s famous "Radio Row.” The store closing comes as Best Buy is kicking ass and taking names in the world of big-box retail, with repercussions felt all the way up the food chain to mid-level retailers like Harvey’s.

Just five years ago, flat HDTVs gave a meaningful and large-scale group of new customers a reason to consider upgrades to their televisions for the first time in decades. At the same time, any AV dealer could make a fair margin selling one of these flat HDTVs (20 to 30 percent profit at retail), an amount that could be easily total $1,000 or more per set sold. This was before they tried to get you to "invest" in a warranty. Roll the tape forward to 2008 and the likes of Costco and Wal-Mart sell flat HDTVs as if they are no different than giant boxes of cereal or a 24-pack of paper towels, and with comparable three percent margins. So much for "specialty AV retailer." Consumers love the precipitous drop in prices, but retailers like Tweeter and Harvey’s struggle to offer "cost-is-the-only issue" sales and, like the warehouse stores, are suffering terribly nationwide. With the 25-year old Compact Disc, the leading audio format this side of an iPod, most mid-level audio stores have amazingly forgotten how to sell audio in meaningful ways, and yet audio retains the margins needed to pay the rent in Manhattan, as well as every other city in America.

Harvey’s is not going out of business as a chain. They still have a store on 19th Street in Manhattan, as well as other locations around the area that are serviced by a loyal clientele. They also reportedly own a Bang & Olufsen franchise in the city, as well as in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The closing of the 45th Street store is symbolic in many ways of how the home theater retail business has changed in recent years. My first trip ever to New York City was with my stepfather in 1983 to the 45th Street location to buy a Denon Compact Disc player. It was $1,000 at the time and the discs were close to $30 a pop. As a wide-eyed nine-year-old from Philadelphia, it was hard not to be impressed by the big city and all of its glitz, even if I deeply hated (and still do, despite a $100 bet on the Giants to cover in Sunday’s Super Bowl) New York’s sports teams. Inside Harvey’s, it was hard not to virtually be a kid in a candy store. The AV toys were everywhere and we were coming home with the newest and coolest the store had to offer. For decades after that, whether it was DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, D-VHS, satellite TV, TiVo, Blu-ray, HD DVD or even the latest computer or software from Apple, I have always been an early adopter. I like to think it all started at Harvey’s in New York way back in the day. Today, that era sadly ended, but the influence lives on – at least with me.

by: Jerry Del Colliano
Source: Informationweek.com

I`m almost speechless on this one Jerry. You should have e-mailed me. Especially since I did work there. I bought my first turntable and cartridge there while in high school. I paid $300.00 for my beloved DUAL 1229 TT with Shure V-15 Type III cartridge. Had the service tech balance and mount the arm and cartridge. Harvey is an institution. This is like the article you wrote on Tower Records closing up. I have a sour feeling in the pit of my stomach. Another bomb shell.
Costco, Wal-Mart, will they tell these customers that their flat panels need calibration??!! I`m upset right now. What next??

broadwayblue 01-31-2008 09:07 PM

Re: Harvey's Closes Flagship Manhattan Location
 
I have mixed emotions on the news. Part of me still has fond memories of going with my dad to the Harvey's in Paramus back in the mid 80's where I got my first stereo system (a Yamaha receiver and a Denon CD player.) That said, the only guys in the Manhattan store I dealt with were jerks. When I was researching front projectors 3 or so years ago I specifically mentioned that I was looking for something affordable. The salespersons first recommendation was a $10k plus unit (Sharp 10k perhaps?) My response was by saying doesn't that unit cost about the same as its model number? I said I was looking for something affordable. He then suggested that he might still have one of the previous models (8k?) available for a couple grand less. I rolled my eyes at him and moved on. I know that they couldn't pay the rent selling $1500 LCD units, but their elitist attitude was really over the top.

JerryDelColliano 01-31-2008 09:13 PM

Re: Harvey's Closes Flagship Manhattan Location
 
BroadwayBlue - WELCOME!!!!!

Bad audio salesman are not special to Harvey's but nevertheless, I am sorry you had a bad time there. $10,000 is a LOT to invest in a projector even 3 years ago.

Look forward to seeing you post and create threads all over the forum.

Sincerely,

jerry

deacongreg 01-31-2008 09:14 PM

Re: Harvey's Closes Flagship Manhattan Location
 
When i was there, a good while ago, there were two guys in particular that were a little on the snobbish side, but everyone else that I worked with back then, was okay for the most part. I can not speak for more recently.
Hopefully, that attitude is no longer there now.


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