Times have been hard for the traditional high-street retailer, but Digbeth based hi-fi shop Audio Affair has celebrated it’s 8th successive year of growth with an extensive refit.
Bucking the downward trend of the high street store, Audio Affair operates an “Omni channel” business with several sales channels, including a large online business from their Custard Factory HQ. Audio Affair have been based in the same store since 2007 but in recent weeks, their showroom has undertaken an extensive refit, and now boasts the city’s only headphones bar, dedicated to the listening of high end headphones, many of which are not available from anywhere else in the West Midlands.
The refit also features a soundbar wall, a selection of the latest, award winning hi-fi products, as well as a huge selection of hi-fi accessories for audio enthusiasts.
Despite being a high street store, Audio Affair has kept up with the digital revolution by keeping competitive prices both in store and online. They have a number of products that are UK exclusives, meaning customers not only get the best price, but can also listen to products in store.
‘We’re the only place in Birmingham where you can come and listen to the entire range of Grado Headphones’ says Alex Field, Managing Director ‘we stock headphones from £20, all the way up to the exclusive Abyss headphones at £4254. It doesn’t matter how little or how much you spend, it’s about getting the most enjoyment from your music’
The Audio Affair showroom is all about the music. Downstairs the sales team listen to vinyl whilst dealing with customers, and there are usually around 15 different sets of speakers available to listen to, with many more in stock ready to demo by appointment. ‘We listen to all sorts of music in the store, and of course the customer is always right – even if they’re playing S Club 7’ says Mike, Amazon Sales Manager. ‘We like to listen to vinyl when we can, but if the store is busy we’ll stream music from Spotify. We listen to music all day, so it’s great to discover new music through the staff and our customers – it’s a good environment to work in’.
Upstairs in the Audio Affair showroom is where the really tasty hi-fi hides. ‘Customers can book a demonstration to listen to specific products – people travel from all around the country to test speakers and equipment in our listening room’ said Richard. ‘We try to keep a good stock of tea and coffee on hand for people, and we’re as fussy about hot drinks as we are about hi-fi! If you want a proper coffee or espresso while you listen to your favourite album, you’ve come to the right place’
The business has grown since it’s launch in 2007, and the team launched DJ Tech Direct in 2012 to cater for the growing DJ market. Based inside the Custard Factory complex, DJ Tech Direct stocks everything you need to create your own music at home.
‘It seems while online music services and sales of streaming products have grown, so has the interest in vinyl turntables and more traditional high end audio equipment. People are starting to rediscover why it’s worth spending more money to hear how good their music can sound at home or on the move’, says Alex, ‘and like many things you get what you pay for. We believe having the right equipment is key to making the most of you music collection, whether you’re listening to Spotify, CD or vinyl’
The Audio Affair store is open Monday to Saturday and is based on Gibb Street in Digbeth.
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To find out more contact:
3 Gibb Street