Shopfloor PROFILE: WHO?

Dec/Jan 2020

February 2019

The staff at Dacombes of Wimborne. Left, Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers on the opening night. Left-hand page, the Mayor of Wimborne trying out the cinema room.


He added: “I like to think we have a great

reputation in Wimborne and the Dorset area, but winning this gives us national awareness!” 2020 brings the centenary of Dacombes of

Wimborne… “a definite excuse for a celebration involving all the staff and hopefully loads of customers,” exclaims Mr Renaut. The immediate plan, however, is to focus on the

retailer’s latest investment. In February last year, Dacombes of Wimborne introduced an acoustically soundproofed home cinema demo room. This was a brand new venture so work began on building the room itself in an old storage space. The official launch event in November saw plenty of local customers turn up to celebrate, as well as industry professionals and even Darth Vader and a few Stormtroopers! The staff were also dressed as their favourite stars from the big screen. The event was the culmination of many months of hard work, as Mr Renaut explains... “This project has been in the pipeline for a long

time. We wanted to do something special and a bit different, as not everyone can offer this. So we took the plunge and went for it! “Throughout most of 2019 our staff were working under piles of rubble while various things were built and moved around in the store! But now it’s done, it was all worth it and I’m really proud.”

Q: So where did you get the idea from to open a home cinema room? MR: It all started with a visit to AWE Europe in Surrey; I went to look at their smart home stuff and I was wowed by their cinema rooms and I knew I needed to have that in my showroom. Retail theatre is crucial these days and a home cinema is the perfect example of how electrical retailers can stand out from the crowd, where customers can sit in the comfy seats watching what they want, it’s the perfect experience. I came back from there with so many thoughts about how it would all work. I also started talking to the guys at Habitech in Basingstoke (another distributor of home entertainment and automation products) to research what kind of kit we could install and how that would benefit the room. All these guys were really helpful and we took the best of all the ideas for our space. Our vision grew from there really, coming up with our own ideas and taking some inspiration from the custom install market too.

Q: So it’s been quite a project for you, how did you start planning everything? MR: I started investing in training programmes to get everyone up to speed and that’s been really crucial. We didn’t have a contractor or separate team working on this project, it was all done in- house, with staff helping out on top of their day- to-day jobs. We simply didn’t have the budget or manpower to blitz it within a few weeks, it was only when we could afford it, so it took time. The next steps were about making space for the cinema room and it was like a jigsaw puzzle! We had the storage room upstairs, but in order to kit

Retail theatre is crucial these days and a home cinema is the perfect example of how electrical retailers can stand out from the crowd, where customers can sit in the comfy seats watching what they want

that out the whole store became a building site for most of last year. A neat-ish building site, of course! I’m very proud of all my staff – they all understand what we are trying to do and it’s a real team effort. Having Chris and Ales by my side has been brilliant, too; they were the driving force behind the build and design. Chris has got a cinema background and a lot of technical knowledge, which came in so handy, while Ales is the carpenter, so whatever you throw at him he’s on it and he works very hard.

Q: What is your future vision for the cinema room then? MR: We won’t just be selling complete home cinema packages, but upgrading a lot of existing home cinema rooms for people too. Customers might want a new projector, so we can invite them to watch a film to get an idea of what they might want. Or they might just want their existing speakers tweaked to get the best sound – there are loads of elements involved and loads of ways we can help our customers, which is great for business. Once we’re in a discussion with customers

or inside their home, we can advise on products accordingly and most often this will lead on to bigger projects for us.


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