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Sonos has moved to shore up their direct sell operation by banning retailers from taking pre orders on new products, registering keywords that mention Sonos while also lowering the profit margin for retailers who supported and helped Sonos get their brand off the ground in Australia.

At a retailer distributor event attended by several specialist dealers the topic of Sonos came up with several revealing that they are now using the brand to upsell customers into other brands.

Described as a “bastard US Company” Sonos is now openly trying to take business away retailers direct to their own site. This eliminates having to pay a retail margin or invest in instore merchandising.

ChannelNews understands from US sources that the Company has been openly telling potential investors in the Company following their decision to go to an IPO in an effort to raise over US $200 that they want to do more direct selling and that revenue from direct selling via the Companies own web site was ‘highly profitable’ as opposed to having to sell via retailers.

According to Stuart Taylor of Aussie Hi Fi he dropped Sonos after they asked him to sign a new contract.

“We were selling over $1.3M dollars’ worth of Sonos products when were suddenly told that we could not register keywords around the Sonos name or drive traffic to our site using reference to Sonos. They also cut our margins”. Said Taylor.

Aussie Hi Fi has both a shop and an online operation but despite this Sonos moved to “stop” Aussie Hi Fi selling online.

Len Wallis of Len Wallis Hi Fi said that he had a “Barny” with Sonos when they moved to change his platinum dealer status.

He was told that he could not take pre orders for new Sonos products.

“Ironically we don’t trade online” said Wallis.

Another dealer said “The ACCC should be taking a look at this Company. They have used retailers in Australia to establish the brand now they are shafting us in an unethical and unprofessional way”.

“This has only come about since the Company took over the distribution and sale of Sonos products”.

Several said that they were now exploring other products such as Denon Heos, and Bluesound as well as the recently launched Audio Pro network speakers being sold by Aqipa.

A current Sonos retailer said “Take their fight with Denon and their Heos system. Sonos chose to have a fight with Denon by suing them. Sonos accused Denon of copying its system citing similarities including the line-up and naming system. Then when it came to the crunch they threw the towel in and ran away why from taking any legal action?”

“Sonos realised that the Denon Heos system was superior to their offering so they used trumped up claims to start a fight. Then when they wanted to do an IPO they realised that they could lose the court case, and this would look bad for potential investors”.

“This is a Company that will do anything to sell a product. They’ve never made money and now they are trying to raise capital”.

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