Danish Hi Fi Company Bang & Olufsen, who are a supplier of high end sound systems to former Apple boss Steve Jobs, is set to launch a second brand that will be sold in Apple shops.The brand which has not yet been named is designed to be a “cash and carry” product range designed to integrate with smartphones, iPods, tablets and other portable devices.
Traditionally B&O sell their high end products via their own retail network with insiders tipping that the new brand will still be “premium priced”.
Currently B&O headphones and iPod speakers are sold via Apple shops.
Tue Mantoni, who was appointed this year as B&O’s global president and CEO said that the new brand will go on sale in November and will be limited to standalone, easy-to-carry products such as iPod speaker systems, headphones and perhaps wireless speakers that would stream music from smartphones.
Mantoni said that B&O was looking to expand their retail presence in some markets while closing others in “mature” markets. It is not known where Australia fits in B&O’s plans after the Company recently reported a profit for the first time in several years.
The store’s design will be revamped to update their current 10 to 15-year-old designs and by Christmas, all 53 stores will feature a “solutions wall” that will feature live products and illustrations to better demonstrate the ability of products that integrate with home systems and distribute music throughout the house.
Mantoni said that the new brand will attract young professionals who might not have settled down and won’t make a big commitment to B&O’s more expensive integrated products, he explained. The sub brand might also include a “riskier” design, he said.
In Denmark, Mantoni said, more than 80 stores operate in a country with only 5 million people.