Mobile Electronics magazine Retailer of the Year 2017 Kingpin Car & Marine Audio is shifting course.
Owner Jason Kranitz, a celebrated fabricator, will now devote more of his energy into training other car audio technicians through his “Kingpin University” courses.
He is opening a second store in addition to Kingpin’s Wilsonville, Oregon shop (near Portland). The new store will be in Las Vegas and it will include a training center for Kingpin University installation and fabrication classes.
The Las Vegas store should open up by December 1. The Wilsonville store will move to a smaller location as it no longer needs room for a training center and as its lease is up.
So Las Vegas becomes Kingpin’s main location.
“I’m a businessman first,” said Kranitz. “Our lease is up in the current building so you look at everything; 1 year, 3 year, 5 and 10 year goals. I decided in order to have the growth we want, we many need to move to a new market.”
Four or five years ago, Kranitz launched Kingpin University. His work was featured in magazines and other dealers would call as ask to come to the shop for a few days to learn new techniques. So he started offering full scale classes, hosting 6 last year with a total of 180 students. This year, he’s holding 9 classes.
“It’s going very well but one of our biggest complaints is about people not wanting to come out here to Oregon. People say it’s too far. That was the number one objection we heard,” said Kranitz.
Las Vegas is an easy to reach location and installers can bring their family for vacation while they train.
Kranitz will hire a new manager and general manager for the stores as he focuses more on Kingpin University.
“We’re making sure the industry can continue to grow and we get some new blood in with new techniques so we continue to elevate the standard of what we do,” he said, noting the shortage of new installers. “So that’s what the school is about. To train new people.”
He will travel between the shops with homes in both Las Vegas and Wilsonville.
Both shops will continue Kingpin’s policy of appointment-only consultation rather than typical retail walk-ins, a format Kranitz launched about three years ago.
Photo: Kingpin location in Wilsonville, OR