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After finally making a profit Bang & Olufsen is set to redesign its stores, they are also tipped to sell its gear at Apple stores in Australia with speculation mounting that Apple & Bang & Olufsen are set to jointly develop a product.The Danish Company is also set to enter a brand new category but is refusing to say “Which category” they are set to enter or whether the new category involves Apple.

It’s known that Steve Jobs is a “big fan” of Bang and Olufsen gear and that he owns several pieces of the sound and TV gear.

Some observers claim that a new Apple TV could well have B&O sound gear built in as part of a joint development.

At the weekend B&O said it would decrease the number of B&O stores in mature geographic markets and accelerate store openings in countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China.  It is not known if any stores in Australia will be shut down.

Future store designs will focus on integrated audio/video solutions.

Late last week the Danish Company said that sales rose 4 percent to US$554.6 million last year. They also reported a profit of $5.42 million compared to a loss of US$6.36 million the year prior. The B&O year ends in June 2011.

Operating profits hit US $11.6 million compared with the previous year’s loss of US$6.53 million.

US sales climbed 22 percent, despite a sales slump among other consumer electronics Companies in the USA.

For the current 2011 to 2012 fiscal year, the company projected sales gains of 4.6 percent and a 150 percent increase in profits before taxes to US$19.3 million.

TWICE said that to boost sales and profits over a five-year period, the company’s new initiatives will include an effort to “leverage the scale and competencies of technology partners to a significantly greater extent than is the case today,” a company statement said. The company itself will focus more on its core competencies in sound and acoustics to deliver more innovative products, the company said.

 “By leveraging the partnerships, we will be able to launch more successful audio and video products and increase our effectiveness in product development, which will allow us to focus our innovation drive on truly differentiating elements,” CEO Tue Mantoni said.

At the retail level, B&O will redesign its stores to “create a more dynamic and engaging customer experience” in B&O-branded shops around the world. “Whereas our retail concept was revolutionary 10 to 15 years ago, today there is a disconnect between our innovative and beautiful products and the look and feel of our shops,” said Mantoni. “We want people to come into our shops, feel welcome, play with our new products and get truly excited about Bang & Olufsen and what we offer.”

 

Although independently owned, B&O stores are staffed by “enthusiastic and knowledgeable retailers deeply passionate about Bang & Olufsen products,” the company said in a statement. “Bang & Olufsen will find ways to convey this passion in an even stronger way to the customers and demonstrate the fantastic experiences that people can have with our products.”

A spokesman declined to offer many details about plans to further expand worldwide sales outside the B&O-branded store channel, other than to point out that the company signed an agreement to sell some products through Apple stores in Europe to complement already established distribution through select Apple stores and Apple’s online store in the US.

In the US, B&O has been selling its BeoSound 8 iPhone/iPad speaker system and BeoLab 4 PC speakers through about a dozen Apple brick-and-mortar stores and through Apple’s online store. “Whether other distribution channels will be included in the future, I cannot comment further on that,” he said. “But I can mention that Bang & Olufsen in a few months is launching its own Bang & Olufsen-branded digital online shop.”

The B&O online store will be one of the outlets for the unnamed new product category that the company will enter by the end of the year. The other outlets for the category will include B&O stores and “complementary retail channels,” the company said in a statement.

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