Car Toys Creates Center of Excellence Stores

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Car Toys Center of Excellence

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.



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  1. Yet we as a company still offer “free install” and other ridiculously priced installs that does nothing to support the installers or the industry

  2. Yes. All the signage has been changed out now. This photo was taken before the final signage was made. If I can figure out how to post a recent picture in the comments section I will. We are very excited about the equipment in this room and impressed with the amount of customers that are still into quality audio and more than happy to go the extra mile to get it.

  3. This room sounds fantastic! Its high time that all retailers should be showing how great it can really sound. Time and time again i here from both customers and sales people say “i had no idea it could sound that good” As an industry we lost a whole generation to white earbuds. Music is ubiquitous. It’s a date stamp on our lives. Time to put it back in the forefront and show em how good it really is.

  4. Agreed, the signage hadn’t been switched out before this picture was taken but the message is much different then pictured

  5. What a great display of hi end equipment, Hi Res Audio and everything!. It is a damn shame that the message of FREE INSTALLATION (in all caps) is the center piece of that wonderful display. As a retailer (and antiquated installer of years past) I have and will always value my installation crew with the utmost respect and not minimize their importance by devaluing their skill and labor which is the retailers’ last bastion of profitability. Well sure, the shop will get their margins in the overall sale, everyone knows that, most know that NOTHING in life is free. So why try make consumers think that its free? We’re fortunate on this coast or at least in my market that no shop offers free installation as we set the pace as the front runners. I will tell a client point blank and honestly that we will discount equipment most competitively, even beat the price, but labor is not discounted at all. It is my installer’s livelihood. Not a single customer denies us that.

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