We have our retail environment all set up for any kind of demonstration, and we don’t just deliver products and walk away. Full installation is crucial – it’s a no brainer. A lot of our competitors operate differently and they can’t offer that product showcase, so that’s the big advantage that we’ve got!

Q: So what sort of cinema packages will you be offering? MR: We are pitching home cinema systems at an affordable level and we offer ‘buy now pay later’ services. We offer tailored equipment and if customers can’t quite reach their full expenditure, there are various products and packages that will

suit. Our staff are trained to offer the best we can! We are lucky to be in an area where there is

a large percentage of customers that have the room and the ability to invest in home cinema rooms. There are some companies that offer quite expensive packages and obviously these aren’t always affordable, but what we’re going for is garage conversions or spare rooms, with kit that is affordable for those with a bit of disposable income. It’s not always about full-blown home cinemas, but maybe just a good quality multi-room audio system to complement their TV setup. We can do that too.

Our aim is to just gain more interest, enquiries and demonstrations – and of course our store offers a lot more than just the cinema itself. But there’s a fine line between what our customers want; some still come in buying their £2.99 bulbs or batteries, and we’ve still got to offer those. But the way I see it going is that high ticket items will help us do well and keep us on the high street.

Q: What would your advice be to other retailers thinking about home cinemas? MR: It sounds like a bit of a cliché, but know your customer. And get the right products in-store that you know you’re going to sell. It’s pointless having

Above: The official ribbon cutting at the home cinema opening event. Above left: Matt with his parents, Carole and John, and Julie Gray, Sales and Marketing at Dacombes of Wimborne.

big expensive kit if you’re unlikely to sell it. Retailers have got to relate to the customer on every level, so you need a comfortable and inspiring area to demonstrate these products – preferably a sound-proofed cinema room – the full package! Customers have got to go ‘wow’ – they’ve got to be really impressed and you’ve got to leave them wanting more!

Our smart apartment, for example, helps the customer to visualise things in their own home; that’s why we designed it like someone’s front room at home.

Q: What are your plans to develop your home cinema room? MR: The important thing for me is that people are talking about it. The launch event we had in November was a huge success! We had some really great conversations and we’re following these up with quotes for potential customers.

Looking forward, we want to use the cinema space as a community hub as well as a sales tool. We’ve got people coming in from local charities, for example one supports people who have just come out of hospital and want to see an exciting film on the big screen, and another is for carers that need a break from their day-to-day duties, so they can come here and switch off for a bit. We also want to get other groups involved, like local film fan clubs, that sort of thing.

It’s not just about the hard sale – it’s about being part of the community and the room is there for everyone to use.

It’s important that the staff are showing the

Some early pictures of the home cinema room being built.

cinema room to anyone and everyone, to help with word of mouth, and we hope people leave saying ‘wow’ and wanting something like that installed in their home.

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