EXCLUSIVE: Devialet To Sell Direct In Australia
It’s irrelevant as to who dumped who after Devialet the French audio brand had a bitter parting of the way with Melbourne based distributor Interdyn, the issue now is how will retailers who helped establish the brand cope with a direct sell operation.
Interdyn executives claim it was there Company who pulled the plug on distributing Devialet products in Australia while Devialet sources claim that they were planning a direct sell operation and that a parting of the way was “inevitable”.
ChannelNews understands that Devialet whose regional office is in Hong Kong, has already held discussions with the owners of the Chadstone Shopping Centre, however this fell apart after Devialet who direct sell in most Countries with the exception of Canada and Australia, tried to have Interdyn take all the risk on the Chadstone operation.
One insider said that the move by Interdyn had caught the French Company off guard and that they may still need the services of a new distributor in the “short term”.
ChannelNews understands that several distributors have already approached the Company since the news broke that Interdyn and Devialet have parted Company.
In December 2017 Devialet raised $162M from a range of investors from Jay Z to Foxconn to fuel an international expansion.
At the time Devialet said that they planned to use the funds to open 50 stores in 2017 in 10 cities around the world, including London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Quentin Sannié, CEO of Devialet, said that another area the money is being spent on is developing its technology for third parties. Devialet sees itself as becoming “the Apple of sound” or perhaps “the sound Intel,” Sannié said. To do that, he’s focusing on partnering with other manufacturers to embed Devialet’s technology in their devices.
“Our goal is to put our technology everywhere,” Sannié said. “You have to consider that the audio market is about 100 million units a year. But the whole sound market, [including] devices [such as] TVs, laptops, the smartphone, cars, is about 3 billion units a year. The audio market is only 3% of the global market we can reach with our technology.”
ChannelNews now understands that the French Company is now looking to open stores in Sydney and Melbourne in the short term. The decision if implemented comes as The Kennedy Group looks to bail out of their store relationship with Danish Hi Fi Group Bang & Olufsen in Australia.
ChannelNews understands that several distributors are now chasing the French Hi Fi Company who were known for making demands on both retailers and distributors as to how their brand should be presented in stores.
Back in 2015 when the brand was first released in Australia retailers were asked to pay $5,000 just to install a Devialet instore display.
One product that could come out of the split with Interdyn is the Skybox, however Devialet needs a partner like Foxtel who are set to launch a new top end 4K real time sport, documentaries and movie network in Australia to launch the product.
Last year the UK equivalent of Foxtel Sky partnered with Devialet to create the Soundbox, an all-in-one TV speaker that promises to squeeze full-range, powerful sound into a small box. The unit is essentially a soundbar squeezed into a black speaker box just 37.5cm wide and 21cm deep, which makes it one of the smallest all-in-one speaker systems available.
It has a total of nine speakers of different sizes and orientations, which work together to produce a wide soundscape, hidden behind the black fabric mesh, and a cut out in the back that hides away two HDMI ports, an optical input and the power socket.
Devialet started out 10 years ago using technology to reduce the size and cost of audio equipment. It began making its own products including high-end amplifiers and its Phantom speakers — shaped like white orbs that resemble “dinosaur eggs”.
Their first product, the Expert Pro amplifier released in 2010, costs tens of thousands of dollars, the Phantom brought that down to about $4,000.
The company has about 100 patents for its system of low-power amplification, which combines digital and analogue audio to improve a speaker’s efficiency without sacrificing sound quality.
Backed by high-profile French businessmen including LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, telecoms entrepreneur Xavier Niel, and vente-privee.com founder Jacques-Antoine Granjon, the group built up a loyal following of customers who they believe they can now service directly in Australia.
It recorded revenues of $97M in 2017 and expects to more than double them this year.
Turnover in 2015 was only $45M.