Car Toys’ Lynwood, WA store has been updated to become a “Car Toys Center of Excellence,” a format that will be rolled out to other stores in the chain.
The store’s enclosed demo room was converted late last year to a high end, Hi-Res Audio room filled with top end products including a handful of DSPs, a Sony Hi-Res Audio deck, and premier JL Audio and Focal speakers.
The store began offering demos of Hi-Res Audio on Black Friday, and the sales results have been so strong that some other Car Toys will be adopting the format this year, confirmed Car Toys VP Sales Tom Healy.
“It wasn’t something we designed,” admitted Healy. It emerged based on the talent in the company.” Essentially, employees at the Lynnwood store who were fans of Hi-Res Audio received permission from headquarters to demo it by building new displays and changing the assortment.
The store’s high end sound room is about 144 square feet. It features a Mosconi 8to12 Aerospace and 6to8 Pro, a JL Audio TwK-88 and an AudioControl DM-810. It also includes JL Audio C7 3-way active speakers and Focal No. 7, 3-way active speakers.
The store uses an Onkyo portable Hi-Res Audio player to demo Hi -Res versus MP3 audio, said Jeremy Boyd, store manager.
The roll out to other stores will be driven by “customer demand and employees showing an interest in it. We definitely plan on rolling it out to more stores,” said Healy. The “Center of Excellence” label is an internal moniker and may be changed to a new consumer-facing name.
Car Toys President Greg Parsonson said the time is right for promoting Hi-Res Audio. Ford announced at CES it will offer Hi-Res Audio in future products. Parsonson said, “The recording industry is behind it, the Consumer Technology Assn. is behind it, audiophiles have been listening to it for 20 years and welcome the opportunity to get it into the car. Apparently, it’s really doing well with customers; they are wanting that premium sound.”
“Ford highlighted that they are going to be integrating Hi-Res Audio in their systems. Lincoln brand in certain builds will include or feature Hi-Res Audio as part of their packages. We will be drafting off them as an opportunity for the aftermarket,” he added.