Founded in 1992, Paulson’s Audio and Video has become the premier audio and video retailer in Metro Detroit. Paulson’s has a retail showroom in Farmington Hills. I sat down with Dan Paulson and discussed how Paulson’s has survived and thrived and what he sees as the industry’s future.
Maureen Jenson: Your business has been in Detroit since the early 90s. How did you survive the chaos of the recession and get back on top?
Dan Paulson: We’ve been in Detroit for 25 years, we are riding the wave right now and it is great! We run lean, but in 2008 we trimmed the fat even more; business was down 40% of where we are today. We brought in key brands and consumer confidence is way up over the last four years. We have 11 strategic vignettes in our showroom, including gear from McIntosh, Classe, and B&W; the vignettes range in price from a $5,000 system to a $150,000 system.
MJ: How did you rebuild your client base and how do you capture those clients and keep their loyalty?
DP: We get most of our clients from referrals and we do some radio and direct mail. We have an 8,000 square foot showroom and we work with Netsertive and all of the HTSA vendor partners. We have over 60 Sony and LG TVs on display and that’s what initially brings people into the store, we have what people are looking for. Once they are in the store, it is up to us to educate them on what experiences are available to them. If we don’t tell them about great audio, shading and lighting systems, etc. How are they going to know? We have to tell them!
MJ: What is your take on burgeoning areas of business?
DP: Speaking of that, last year our outdoor sales just blew up! We do a lot with Paradigm speakers and Seura outdoor TVs; I love the 65-inch. Again, so many people do not know what is available. When we tell them about the entertainment and security they can experience outdoors, they get very excited. Of course home networking systems and shading and lighting control; shading with QMotion is showing the same signs. The ROI will be there.
MJ: What manufacturers are always there for you?
DP: When it comes to manufacturers we can count on, Sony is constantly there supporting us. Also B&W product support can’t be beat. I always know our clients’ needs will be met when I put B&W speakers in an installation. I know B&W will take care of us.
MJ: Why did you join HTSA and what is the biggest advantage?
DP: The biggest advantage of being an HTSA member is the education; the sharing of information is priceless. It is an organization that has a lot of heart and has outstanding members and many great benefits. We love everything about technology and Ken, Kris and Dan Paulson have made it their mission to deliver technology to their clients without the headaches but all of the fun!