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Wednesday, 09 September 2015 11:07

Bekins revives Classic Stereo brand

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Left to right: New Classic Stereo owner Scott Bekins and former owner John Higgs. Left to right: New Classic Stereo owner Scott Bekins and former owner John Higgs. COURTESY PHOTO

Audiophiles in West Michigan soon will witness the reemergence of a familiar brand.

Grand Haven-based home appliance and audio retailer Bekins Inc. has partnered with John Higgs, former owner of Classic Stereo and Video, to revive the high-end audio store, which closed its Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo stores in 2008 amidst financial struggles related to the recession.

Under the partnership, Classic Stereo will partner with Bekins and open a new 3,100-square-foot retail showroom at 6275 28th Street SE, connected to Bekins' Grand Rapids location. The store is expected to open by the end of October. Bekins also operates a Grand Haven store as well as a 36,000-square-foot warehouse and service center in Coopersville.

According to owner Scott Bekins, the partnership makes sense because of two key emerging trends in the electronics industry: a flight to quality, high-end audio systems and a renewed interest in vinyl.

“Bekins is not as well known for electronics as Classic (Stereo) was,” Bekins told MiBiz. “It’s kind of a business we’re not as well known for as appliances and Classic was a strong brand in the area.”

Under the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, Higgs and his former business partner Bill Price will join the sales team of the revived Classic Stereo. Construction is ongoing, Bekins said, and the new store will have a staff of eight, including Higgs and Price. Bekins' three locations have approximately 100 employees. The owner declined to share sales figures or revenue projections.

For many years, Bekins and Classic Stereo acted as competitors in the niche market of audio equipment in West Michigan, Bekins said. Now, with the two teams joining together, particularly with Classic Stereo’s reputation for audio and visual equipment, the partnership creates synergies.

“We’re very familiar with what the market is and we know what the market used to sell,” Bekins said. “With the renewed interest in turntable and digital music, there is some really cutting-edge technology. We know the market is much greater."

Read 2624 times Last modified on Monday, 28 September 2015 11:05
Nick Manes

Staff writer

nmanes@mibiz.com

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