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What next for Meyer Sound in Australia?

Steve_Devine

The recent termination of the Australian distributor of Meyer Sound products leaves a big question: what happens now? While CX waits for a response from Meyer Sound in Berkely, we spoke to Steve Devine, a partner in the former distribution company, which is Meyer Sound Australia. The other partner is Harley Richardson.

“The cost of holding stock is prohibitive. Selling speakers is a dog game”, Steve opened.

“Working with Meyer Sound has been fantastic, the designers, tech support people are all wonderful. I can’t comment on the demise, it’s too soon and we’re still working through things. We’re working with them on a satisfactory transfer to whomever, I don’t know what they’ll do.”

“At the moment its mutually co operative. We wanted to see our customer well looked after in terms of warranty and support.”

“The main reason is in Australia we have too many loudspeaker brands. Overheads in Australia are greater than anywhere. Rent, insurance, everything is far higher.”

“We are 1% of the US market, 2% on a good year, of the USA speaker biz. You have to scream loud to get things done. They can’t focus on us as we are too small.”

“To sell a large PA, you have to own it, truck it to a venue for a demo, then it comes down to who can give cheapest cost. It used to be 30 to 40% on cost, now it’s as bad as 7% on cost. The numbers just don’t stack up. Our problem is, that’s all we did, just Meyer.”

“That’s why it was called Meyer Sound Australia 19 years ago. Perhaps we should have diversified, but there’s not a lot of products that complement that are not already taken. We never intended to be a big distributor, just to do one thing, and do it well.”

“Meyer was poorly represented before we started, we’ve sold 15,000 speakers, to a lot of happy customers. It’s a really, really good product. I learned so much – when I started I was a lighting guy, now people seek my advice on sound systems.”

“If I could do it all again I’d do it the same way. Everything has had its day, and its passed. We look forward to helping whoever picks it up.”

“Four months ago it came to a head, we were sent a termination letter, effective late July we would no longer be distributor. Letter suggested we come back with a proposal to sort out our financial differences, we put proposal to them, it was not acceptable, they came back with another proposal and that was not acceptable to us.”

“I’m sure the next stage will be interesting, Harley and I may, or may not, work together, we’re open to all situations.”

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