A passion for
Magnolia’s Audio Merchants talk, what else, audio.
Premium audio: it’s defined by decibels and hertz, tubes and tweeters, the latest technologies and materials. But at Magnolia, it’s also defined by the memories it stirs in your soul and the emotions it brings to your heart. To help bring this emotion home, Magnolia has two dedicated audio merchants in Sara Klarstrom, Merchant for Magnolia’s Design Center locations; and Karin Grahn, Senior Merchant for Magnolia’s Home Theater stores. Together, these two help take you from just listening to your audio, to experiencing it.
M Magazine sat down with Sara and Karin to get their insights into Magnolia and audio. Here’s what they had to say, in their own words.
M: What makes Magnolia’s product assortment so unique?
Sara: Like with most things, when you make a bigger investment, you get more in return. For Magnolia that means you get a lot more technology imbedded in the speakers, receivers and headphones we offer. There’s also a lot of time that’s put into research and development. We’re not always pressed to hit deadlines to release the latest thing; if it takes a little more time to make a product perfect, our vendors will do that. You don’t always see that everywhere else.
All of this allows the products and brands we offer to give you more of what the core purpose is when you’re reproducing audio: to hear what the recording artist or recording studio intended you to hear. That’s more depth, a broader soundstage, and a much more holistic listening experience.
Karin: We also offer the latest cutting-edge products and technologies in audio. For example, last year we introduced Dolby ATMOS, as a more immersive home theater experience. We also expanded on our distributed audio category with HEOS by Denon and Play-Fi with products from Definitive Technology and Polk. We continue to look for new and innovative options to meet the expanding needs of our customers as wireless streaming continues to increase in demand.
Sara: Magnolia Design Center locations have also recently launched digital Hi-Res audio. So you can finally get audiophile quality sound from a digital source.
M: What’s the relationship like with these vendors, do you give input into these products?
Sara: At Magnolia, our vendor relationships are actually more like partnerships, and in many cases, we’re their largest outlet. We’re able to get feedback from our retail team and our customers so we’re able to help them build a product that fits people’s needs. We typically see these products before they come to market, so we can be influential on product design, how you use the product, and the timing for the launch.
Karin: We also get feedback and input from our engineering teams. They work directly with our field teams as well as customers, so they see first-hand customer pain points with technology. Their input helps vendors refine their products to make them easier to install and easier to use for the customer. This is something the vendors simply don’t have – they build the product, then all they see is the sales results, so there’s that gap, and that’s where we come into play.
“Music brings back memories – it brings out emotions and makes the whole listening and watching experience real.”Sara Klarstrom, Magnolia Design Centers Audio Merchant
M: Why Magnolia for Premium Audio?
Sara: Service, knowledge, technology and of course our amazing assortment of brands. We’re here to help customers no matter the size or scale of their audio needs, whether it’s a single room or their entire house. Magnolia offers a complete solution that’s going to help you no matter where you are in your audio journey.
Karin: We’re also associated with a very strong brand in Best Buy® stores. This gives us a great storefront, so now customers can come in, demo products and make an informed decision. For many, the products Magnolia offers could only be researched online, with limited brick and mortar presence; now they can actually experience them, instead of just shopping online and hoping they made the right choice.
Magnolia customers also have their guy or girl they can call when they need something. Our System Designers are dedicated to being with you for the life of your product. And with stores nationwide, even if you move, we’ve got somebody nearby to help – you’re not going to find that with many other custom integrators.
It’s who we are
Audio, it’s instrumental to the Magnolia brand, so much so that we’ve dedicated this issue of M Magazine to it. With products, services and our audio merchants all ensuring you get the most out of your sound, we’ll help you love audio as much as we do. Welcome to the audio issue.